Compared with years past, the build-up to the Russia World Cup has been relatively subdued from a marketing and advertising standpoint.
Can we trust expert football predictions? Perhaps, but it's variable.
Scandal-plagued FIFA says it's committed to reform. Changing the way World Cup hosts are selected would be a start.
When Senegal face Poland in their first World Cup match in Russia, the whole nation will be roaring them on to victory.
Video Assistant Referees at the World Cup finals in Russia might help African teams to do better than they have done so far.
For FIFA, the tournament is a commercial and technological opportunity.
What should have been a great year for Australian soccer has been let down by underwhelming fan interest and a distracting dispute between Football Federation Australia and A-League clubs.
After a series of debacles, many metropolitan areas no longer want their leaders to vie for these opportunities.
Russian officials will be hoping that excitement about one of the world's biggest sporting events generates some goodwill for the country.
With its "Pro hijab" Nike has mainstreamed what is generally considered as an oppressive and marginalised garment.
When financial times are tight, only those with soft power ambitions can see the economic sense in World Cups or Olympic Games.
World soccer is the story of hyper-capitalism. What would fan and revolutionary thinker Frantz Fanon have thought about the state of the sport?
From 2026 there will be more teams, more matches - and more tickets sold.
The International Olympic Committee could suspend Kenya, putting it in the company of Kuwait.
Multiple ownerships, mega-transfers and a foot in the door at FIFA. Beijing's bid for football power is a challenge to world soccer.
The sheer number of top African footballers playing in foreign leagues is one of the most notable trends of the current Africa Cup of Nations tournament. It has an impact on the African game too.
The main objections raised to FIFA"s planned expansion of the World Cup are that the decision has been made on financial and/or political rather than footballing grounds.