Articles on Football

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Football, with its passion, drama and larger-than-life characters, has all the elements for a good literary genre. Boris Roessler/EPA

From stadium to page: why football deserves more fiction

A great football novel is like a perfectly executed bicycle-kick goal, like players such as Argentine legends Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi; they come along once in a generation. Against the accumulated…
Man and superman. Wikimedia Commons

Becksistentialism: because man is a goal-seeking animal

A student came up to me after class the other day and said, “So what is this ‘Becksistentialism’ all about then?” I want to begin to answer that question by defining the negative: Sir Alex Ferguson is…
Yaya Toure: subjected to racist chanting. van Sekretarev/AP/Press Association

Football racists score own goal against the beautiful game

It has been suggested by Sepp Blatter that Jeffrey Webb, FIFA’s vice president and the head of FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force, might succeed the Swiss administrator as President of FIFA. This support…
Shoot fast before the window closes. Bronski beat

Little known Joe Yoffe could close football transfer window

You probably haven’t heard of English footballer Joe Yoffe. Why would you? Until recently, he played for UMF Selfoss in the second tier of the Icelandic league. But Yoffe could be about to change the way…
QPR’s Joey Barton wore rainbow laces in a recent match. John Walton/PA

Solving homophobia in football? Don’t bet on it

Last week, world football was shocked by a match-fixing scandal that swallowed a minor league Australian club and cast it into a world of international betting intrigue. As allegations were levelled at…
Spurs fans: language reclaimers? Peter Byrne/PA

Tackle antisemitism, not the ‘Yid Army’ chants

Is it always wrong to use racial epithets, regardless of the context? It’s an old debate, recently revived and applied to football fans. The Football Association (FA), anti-racism campaigners and Jewish…
Gareth Bale, shirt salesman.

Real Madrid’s Bale money is a commercial investment

One of the most tedious but enduring stories of a summer packed with sporting incident has finally reached its climax: Gareth Bale has been bought by Real Madrid. This morning he had a medical at the club…
Will he stay or will he go? PA Archive

Why £100m is not too much for the men with the golden boots

Dependent upon which team you support there is only one question on your mind as we prepare for the start of the new season tomorrow. If you’re a Spurs supporter its, “will Gareth Bale go?”; if you support…
Gareth Bale: keeping bargaining theorists busy. Chris Radburn/PA

Clever bargaining strategy may lead to record transfer for Bale

The Gareth Bale transfer saga drags on, as Real Madrid consider buying Tottenham Hotspur’s star player for a world record transfer fee of around £100m. For those of us who have studied the process of bargaining…
Rooney: rumoured to have once been bald. Martin Rickett/PA

The science behind football transfer rumours

Summer’s football transfer rumour season is in full swing; an annual activity as predictable as strawberries and cream at Wimbledon or suntans and sports cars at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. World Cup years…
Chinese youngsters are keen to associate themselves with global football brands. ivanwalsh

Global brands follow football’s silk road to China

The football clubs of Western Europe are off to Asia this summer in the hope of engaging fans and building relationships with some of their target customers. For example, China plays host to the Barclays…
The USA’s Christine Rampone celebrates with Hope Solo after defeating Japan in the Olympic football final. Anthony Devlin/PA

Sexism, sport and how Blatter took his eye off the ball again

Sepp Blatter, the 77-year-old president of FIFA, the international governing body of football, has put his foot in it – again. Having made suggestions in 2004 that women in sport should wear tight shorts…
Collision sports such as AFL have adopted concussion management policies because it’s an unavoidable feature of the games. AAP Image/David Crosling

Sport concussion guidelines rife with conflicts of interest

Athletes and officials in charge of collision sports (such as rugby league, AFL and American football) have an uneasy relationship with concussion; it’s an unavoidable feature of their games and there’s…

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