Articles on Soccer

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Australia first qualified for the World Cup in 1974, when a group of part-timers under captain Peter Wilson (far right) went to West Germany. Anton Cernak

Qualifying is never easy: Australia’s World Cup history

Australia will soon begin its fourth football World Cup finals campaign – the third successive tournament it has qualified for – with group stage matches against Chile, the Netherlands and Spain. While…
The cases of Donald Sterling in the US and Dani Alves in Spain serve to emphasise that sport – and society – still has work to do to combat racism. EPA/Paul Buck

Sterling, Alves and why racism continues to dog sport worldwide

Two recent instances of sports-related racial abuse have seen athletes take strong, united stands against the scourge of racism. While the cases of Donald Sterling in the US and Dani Alves in Spain are…
Media commentary is not a reliable indicator of the severity of fan violence in Australian soccer – but policing approaches do need to improve. AAP/David Crosling

Australia has no ‘soccer hooligan’ problem – but we need a smarter policing approach

The A-League soccer game between Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers late last year attracted national media headlines for all the wrong reasons: brawls between opposing fans outside a city…
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…
The man touted as the next Socceroos coach, Angle Postecoglou, meets Australian soccer’s greatest export Craig Johnston. Should we have local coaches for our national teams? AAP/Hamish Blair

The case for a home-grown coach in a global sports market

Another foreign coach of an Australian national sports team has been ushered to the overseas departure terminal. Having overseen the team’s qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Socceroos…
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…
Victorian soccer club Southern Stars has been caught up in the biggest match-fixing scandal to hit Australian sport. What can be done to prevent further instances of corruption? ABC News

Falling Stars: Australian soccer scandal shines bright

Since taking over as chief executive of the Football Federation Australia (FFA), Australian soccer’s governing body, David Gallop would have “sold his arse” (to paraphrase Tony Abbott) to have the sport…
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…
When you’re going for goals, seeing is believing. Johnson Cameraface

RoboCup 2013: new moves to keep players on the ball

In just a few weeks, soccer-playing robots from around the world will converge on Eindhoven in the Netherlands to compete for the prestigious RoboCup 2013. With around 2,500 particpants, competition is…
The Western Sydney Wanderers have had a ‘fairytale’ debut season in the A-League - but does this say more about how the league is run than the team itself? AAP/Dean Lewins

The A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers: the fairytale in context

Western Sydney Wanderers’ inaugural A-League season is the feel-good sports story of the year. The team is undefeated in 13 matches, won the league (generally regarded as the “real” championship in soccer…
The Herald Sun has described fans of A-League soccer club Melbourne Victory as ‘soccer hooligans’, a label many fans feel is unfair. AAP/Martin Philbey

‘Soccer hooligans’ of the Herald Sun’s making

In 2011, I attempted to warn then-Victorian Police Superintendent Rod Wilson and Australian soccer’s governing body, Football Federation Australia, from “amplifying the actions of a few unruly football…

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