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Analysis and Comment (36)

Liverpool and Manchester City pause to remember the dead of Hillsborough. Liverpool and Manchester City pause to remember the dead of Hillsborough. Peter Byrne/PA

Hillsborough’s lesson – don’t fear the crowd

It is the 25th anniversary of the worst sporting tragedy in the UK: the Hillsborough football disaster, where 96 Liverpool fans died at an FA cup semi-final game against Nottingham Forest. As a mark of…
Reigning premiers Hawthorn was the first AFL club to trial the WASP tracking technology – so how does it work? Reigning premiers Hawthorn was the first AFL club to trial the WASP tracking technology – so how does it work? AAP/David Crosling

In the long run: keeping track of athletes with wearable tech

With the AFL season in full swing many of us are glued to our screens marvelling at the speed and tactics of the athletes. Midfielders, such as ex-Cat-now-Sun Gary Ablett Jnr, can run between 12 and 20km…
Johnny Warren argued that no other sport reflects life the way football does. Johnny Warren argued that no other sport reflects life the way football does. Dan Himbrechts/AAP Image

The case for Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters by Johnny Warren

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing. See…
It’s no beach ball. It’s no beach ball. Adam Davy/PA

Hard Evidence: how will the 2014 World Cup ball swerve?

There are now only a few months to go until the biggest sporting event of 2014 – the FIFA World Cup in Brazil – and questions are being asked. Will the stadiums be ready? Are the airports ready for the…
Tackling a big issue. Tackling a big issue. Neil Marshman

We don’t listen to children when it comes to abuse in sport

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster has said she revealed details about sexual abuse by her coach when she was young in order to “break the taboo about abuse as a whole.” There are certainly issues within…
Nice stadiums, but who built all this? Nice stadiums, but who built all this? Doha Sam

Qatar has every reason to enforce new workers charter

Qatar has just introduced a “charter” to protect its migrant workers; will anyone notice the difference? Migrant workers represent around 88% of Qatar’s 1.9m residents, and the numbers are set to increase…
Hands up if you’re buying a whole team next. Hands up if you’re buying a whole team next. PA

What David Beckham can learn from Miami Fusion’s failure

In attempting to succeed as owner of a Major League Soccer team in Miami, Florida, David Beckham has taken on perhaps the biggest challenge of his career. The city is not short of major sports teams. It…
The eye sees what the camera can’t. The eye sees what the camera can’t. Scot Campbell

Out! Goal! The ball was in! But could Hawk-Eye get it wrong?

Hawk-Eye is a device used to reconstruct the track of the ball for LBW decisions in cricket and for line calls in tennis. It will be much in evidence during the remaining Ashes tests and is now being used…
Falling prices? £85m Gareth Bale could move clubs for nothing. Falling prices? £85m Gareth Bale could move clubs for nothing. Adam Davy/PA

Footballers bid to shake up outdated transfer system

Footballers, it turns out, want the same rights as everyone else. If you or I want to move jobs, our new employer doesn’t have to pay anything. Should football players be any different? To gain this freedom…
Football’s popularity in Asia has fuelled illegal betting. Football’s popularity in Asia has fuelled illegal betting. Eugene Hoshiko/AP

FA is fixing football, but not how you might think

In the run up to the London Olympics, Jacques Rogge, then president of the International Olympic Committee, made a surprising statement. Doping, he said, was no longer the number one threat to the integrity…
Thirsty work: Karmichael Hunt keeps cool during his Brisbane Broncos days. Thirsty work: Karmichael Hunt keeps cool during his Brisbane Broncos days. AAP

Footballers can’t stand the heat? No sweat – just fix the fixtures

Athletes are paid for pushing their bodies to the limit, but at what stage do we acknowledge that baking hot afternoons might not be the safest time for our sportspeople to ply their trade? Certainly…
Football, with its passion, drama and larger-than-life characters, has all the elements for a good literary genre. 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…
Ultras: a fireman’s worst nightmare. Ultras: a fireman’s worst nightmare. MJwho

Italy’s ultras: death threats, local pride and footballing farce

The derby match between Salernitana and Nocerina started strangely. Played in the third tier of Italian football, the match saw three Nocerina substitutions after just three minutes. Soon, another Nocerina…
Man and superman. 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. 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. 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. 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…
Bradley Wiggins, Tour de Force. Bradley Wiggins, Tour de Force. Josh Hallett

What does it take to be an elite athlete? Depends on the sport

Wherever we look there seems to be amazing feats of physical, mental and skilled endeavour in sport. Cycling is often cited as one of the most elite and the climax of the Tour of Britain yesterday saw…
Spurs fans: language reclaimers? 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. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…
Manchester City: soon to be celebrating global domination? Manchester City: soon to be celebrating global domination? Dave Thompson/PA

Do you want franchise with that? McDonald’s model for football

Walk down the high streets of Britain, through the shopping malls of the United States or around the retail complexes of East Asia, and you will inevitably be confronted with a McDonald’s food outlet…
Becks gets his first lesson in posing for the cameras. Becks gets his first lesson in posing for the cameras. Dave Kendall/PA

The Beckham and Fergie years are over, but Manchester keeps cashing in

Since Alex Ferguson resigned as Manchester United’s manager he has been credited with everything from reversing the recession to single-handedly putting Manchester itself on the global map. One person…
Collision sports such as AFL have adopted concussion management policies because it’s an unavoidable feature of the games. 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…
There is currently no evidence to show helmets help prevent concussion or more serious head injury. There is currently no evidence to show helmets help prevent concussion or more serious head injury. AAP

Helmets won’t cure football’s concussion headache

We’ve heard a lot about concussion this AFL season, with claims that too many knocks to the head can cause mental illness, calls for more research into the possible link between football concussions and…
Former England captain John Terry was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand last Friday. Former England captain John Terry was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand last Friday. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Twitter, John Terry and the Sunshine Tigers: how racism dogs the world game

As iconic sporting images go, there are few finer specimens than the picture of Brazilian genius Pele shaking hands with England captain Bobby Moore, after their teams battled to a 1-0 victory for Brazil…
Soccer fans in NSW in 2005 after a disturbance between supporters of rival teams. Soccer fans in NSW in 2005 after a disturbance between supporters of rival teams. AAP

A-League fans: don’t label them football hooligans

The late Johnny Warren deftly described some Australians' attitude to football as being a game for “sheilas, wogs, and poofters”. Whilst public interest has increased markedly following successive World…

Research Briefs (1)