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Analysis and Comment (106)

A convicted rapist is no role model for this young fan. A convicted rapist is no role model for this young fan. Darren Staples/Reuters

Time to stop playing nice about misogyny in sports

The persistence of violence against women across the globe is well documented, but what part do sports play in gendered aggression? It seems shocking to claim that sports and violence against women are…
The Namibian team was tested for Ebola, despite the country being free of the disease. The Namibian team was tested for Ebola, despite the country being free of the disease. Fiona Crawford

The Homeless World Cup isn’t immune to Ebola fear-mongering

Convenience stores in Santiago, Chile still stock Coca-Cola bottles adorned with 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil branding. It’s a small reminder of the ubiquity and overhang of the world’s largest football…
Sacking Brenton Sanderson as coach may rebound on the Adelaide Crows if the club doesn’t have a strong replacement ready to step in. Sacking Brenton Sanderson as coach may rebound on the Adelaide Crows if the club doesn’t have a strong replacement ready to step in. AAP/Ben Macmahon

Sack the coach? Wait, there’s more to fixing a club than that

The football season is almost over, but the coach-sacking season has just begun. In the AFL, the Adelaide Crows sacked coach Brenton Sanderson despite only recently having extended his contract. Media…
Robinvale footballers have been recruited into an active campaign to heal community divisions, which includes playing an annual Harmony Match. Robinvale footballers have been recruited into an active campaign to heal community divisions, which includes playing an annual Harmony Match. Facebook/Robinvale Football Netball Club

A world away from the MCG, every round is multicultural round

Standing in the social rooms of Robinvale Football Netball Club on presentation night is perhaps like standing in any sports club in regional Australia when their vote count is on. There are the usual…
What keeps us watching AFL, even when we’d rather not? What keeps us watching AFL, even when we’d rather not? Theron Kirkman/AAP Image

The AFL grand final – a carnival of struggle, passion and tragedy

In September each year, for more than a century now, Australians have participated in the triumphs and tragedies of the annual carnival of the boot. We celebrate football as a quasi-religious, tribal homage…
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United on loan in one of deadline day’s big deals. Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United on loan in one of deadline day’s big deals. Sebastien Nogier/EPA

Time to lift the shroud of secrecy surrounding football transfers

Transfer deadline day is over for another year. As always, it brought drama galore, with deals thrown together at the last minute, like the “shock” announcement three hours before the deadline that Danny…
Heard the one about the Belgian, the Frenchman, the Argentine, Brazilian, and the Bosnian? Heard the one about the Belgian, the Frenchman, the Argentine, Brazilian, and the Bosnian? EPA

Hard Evidence: how much is the Premier League worth?

Over the next nine months, countless people will marvel at Manchester City or berate Jose Mourinho without ever really grasping how powerful and all-pervasive the Premier League has become. While 21st-century…
Webb at the 2010 World Cup final. Just don’t mention Nigel de Jong… Webb at the 2010 World Cup final. Just don’t mention Nigel de Jong… EPA

Howard Webb’s new job is to train a generation of super-refs

Howard Webb, one of modern football’s most successful referees, has announced his retirement. Webb achieved much in his career, most notably in 2010 taking charge of the finals of both the World Cup and…
A star player can’t afford to short circuit under pressure. A star player can’t afford to short circuit under pressure. campuspartymexico

4-4-2 becomes 0101: inside the competitive world of robot football

The whistle has just been blown on one of the most thrilling events on the international sporting calendar. It took place in Brazil and pitted teams from all over the world against each other, each hoping…
The Sun says we should love this man. The Sun says we should love this man. EPA

Does The Sun shine too brightly on Newcastle United?

One of the legacies of the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989 is the widespread and high-profile boycott in Liverpool of The Sun. That Britain’s biggest selling national newspaper experiences a circulatory…
FIFA president Sepp Blatter (left), pictured with Russian president Vladimir Putin, was booed at the World Cup final because he continues to be the face of what is wrong with FIFA. FIFA president Sepp Blatter (left), pictured with Russian president Vladimir Putin, was booed at the World Cup final because he continues to be the face of what is wrong with FIFA. EPA/Alexey Nikolsky

FIFA is back to its core business – but Platini should replace Blatter

Delays in stadium construction. Poor working conditions for World Cup workers. Massive budget blowouts. Nationwide protests. Ignoring the needs of millions of struggling Brazilian families. All of these…
Germany: world champions for the fourth time. Germany: world champions for the fourth time. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Germany triumphs in a World Cup of many winners and losers

No one can say the Germans did not deserve to win the 2014 World Cup: they remained unbeaten throughout, destroyed the hosts along the way, and then saw off those other historic guardians of South American…
There can only be one winner. There can only be one winner. EPA/Kamil Krzaczynski/Mohamed Messara

Germany v Argentina … who will raise the 2014 World Cup?

After four weeks, we’re finally at the pointy end of the 2014 World Cup. Germany and Argentina meet in the final in the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro this weekend. Germany is riding high after thrashing…
It’s time to move on. It’s time to move on. Thomas Eisenhuth/EPA

The third-place playoff still matters for Brazil

The shock, disappointment and shame felt in Brazil after their humiliating semi-final defeat to Germany has been apparent for all to see. In fact, the despair that the defeat caused both team and their…
Spain’s golden generation, featuring players such as Torres, Iniesta and Casillas, crashed out of the World Cup in Brazil, perhaps marking an end to their dominance of world football. Spain’s golden generation, featuring players such as Torres, Iniesta and Casillas, crashed out of the World Cup in Brazil, perhaps marking an end to their dominance of world football. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Capitalism or golden generations? Explaining success in World Cups

As the World Cup reaches its climax, with Brazil, Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands to fight it out for a spot in the final, can we explain why some countries have been successful at the highest level…
The Castelao stadium in Fortaleza was the first of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums to receive green certification. The Castelao stadium in Fortaleza was the first of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums to receive green certification. Pedroichimaru/Wikimedia Commons

The real story behind Brazil’s ‘greenest World Cup’

This year’s World Cup was supposed to be the “greenest ever”, with FIFA taking measures to account for the event’s greenhouse gas emissions, including an estimated 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide…
Addicts or fanatics? Addicts or fanatics? Dennis Sabangan/EPA

Fanatical about football? Watch out, you could be an addict

Why are we so loyal to our national and club football teams? Whatever the results, we tend to support them week in week out, through thick and thin. They can cause us nothing but misery and heartache and…
Grassroots football facing tough competition? Grassroots football facing tough competition? emsef

Don’t blame grassroots football for England’s World Cup failure

England’s worst ever performance at a World Cup inevitably provokes a critical post mortem of what went wrong and how to ensure the team’s future success. As well as the performances of the current crop…
Feigning injury in football today has reached truly epidemic proportions. Feigning injury in football today has reached truly epidemic proportions. EPA/Yuri Kochetkov

Faking it: why football players feign injury

We all know that professional football players feign injury. Is it getting worse? Probably. Do we know why? Not really, but history suggests some plausible answers. The first thing to say is that feigning…
Harder, faster, better, stronger. Harder, faster, better, stronger. Jose Coelho/EPA

Do winning teams at the World Cup run further and faster?

Tracking technology using video or GPS chips have transformed the ability of coaches in elite team sports to monitor the physical contributions of players in games. This type of data is usually highly…
At least no one got their head cut off … At least no one got their head cut off … Emilio Lavandeira Jr/EPA

Bites, brawls and severed heads: football’s history of violence

Another game, another bite. That’s the allegation against Uruguayan Luis Suárez, anyway, who has been accused of sinking his teeth into an opposition player. For the third time. But a mid-game nibble on…
Australia is heading in the right direction football-wise if our results at the World Cup are anything to go by. Australia is heading in the right direction football-wise if our results at the World Cup are anything to go by. EPA/Fernando Bizerra Jr

Despite World Cup losses, Australia has a bright football future

For those well-versed in football and Australian sport, the Australian national team’s early exit from the World Cup should come as no surprise. The three losses – to Chile, the Netherlands and Spain…
The National Stadium in Brasilia is 1,172m above sea level; the highest altitude stadium in the World Cup. The National Stadium in Brasilia is 1,172m above sea level; the highest altitude stadium in the World Cup. EPA/Robert Ghement

Worrying heights? The ups and downs of football at altitude

There is a rich and mixed history of playing football at altitudes above sea level, but at various stages in the past 15 years the Fédération International de Football Association (FIFA) has banned international…
Hiptastic celebrations from the Colombian team. Hiptastic celebrations from the Colombian team. Robert Ghement/EPA

The pageantry, performance and publicity of goal celebrations

The 2014 World Cup has been a tournament of goals galore – and with every goal comes a celebration. We’re now used to displays of individual and team pageantry with goal celebrations and they can sometimes…
Refereeing could do with the benefit of technology, as long as it doesn’t lose the human element. Refereeing could do with the benefit of technology, as long as it doesn’t lose the human element. Nic Bothma/EPA

Drawing the line between video evidence and the ‘spirit of sport’

Sporting referees are worthy of our admiration. Every time they officiate they are required to make split second real-time decisions. Sometimes they get it right – and sometimes they don’t. They are what…
Not a pretty sight for some. Not a pretty sight for some. Menzl Guenter

World Cup shines a light on persistent domestic violence

Football can be a violent game. While this year’s World Cup has not been marked by serious violence on the pitch, games are hard fought and there have been a handful of red cards already. Off the pitch…
What does Spain striker Diego Costa’s back story tell us about footballers and identity in the modern world? What does Spain striker Diego Costa’s back story tell us about footballers and identity in the modern world? EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Diego Costa, Spain and problems of identity in world football

People watching the World Cup match between Spain and the Netherlands earlier in the tournament may have been wondering why Spanish striker Diego Costa was vociferously booed every time he touched the…
Paulo Ito’s recent image joins a long line of socially-conscious street art in Brazil. Paulo Ito’s recent image joins a long line of socially-conscious street art in Brazil. Paulo Ito

Indignação! Brazilian street art in its historical context

Just a week before the inaugural game of the World Cup in Brazil, a vibrant wall-painting of a boy crying hysterically as he is served up a football instead of dinner, went viral. The image, shown above…
The heat is on. And referees can get it wrong. The heat is on. And referees can get it wrong. Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Forget the players, World Cup referees are feeling the heat

There has been much hand-wringing over the problems that World Cup players are facing due to the environmental extremes they are exposed to in Brazil. There has been little sympathy for the men in black…
Croatia players argue with referee Yuichi Nishimura of Japan after the match between Brazil and Croatia. Croatia players argue with referee Yuichi Nishimura of Japan after the match between Brazil and Croatia. EPA/Diego Azubel

Technology vs discretion: how to save World Cup refereeing dignity

From the perspective of fairness, the 2014 World Cup has been off to a remarkably bad start. The opening game included at least two highly questionable decisions by the referee. First, the very generous…
If you would like to see a large number of desperately poor people enjoy the joy of a World Cup victory, you should cheer for Nigeria. If you would like to see a large number of desperately poor people enjoy the joy of a World Cup victory, you should cheer for Nigeria. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Stuck for a World Cup team? Shoot for the happiness dividend

Let’s be realistic. Australia is the lowest ranked of the 32 teams in the World Cup, and despite a very creditable performance in its first match against Chile, its chances of making it out of the group…
FIFA’s chief medical officer is adamant there’s no doping in football … but experience says otherwise. FIFA’s chief medical officer is adamant there’s no doping in football … but experience says otherwise. Gabriel Corbacho Bermejo/Flickr

Doping in football – does it make the game any less beautiful?

It is often said that football is the beautiful game, resistant to the kinds of doping seen in cycling, baseball or less beautiful games of the same name. Much like Australia’s confidence before its “blackest…
Chile’s Alexis Sanchez fell victim to a goal disallowed by an offside call in the 2010 World Cup. So what are the nuts and bolts of the rule? Chile’s Alexis Sanchez fell victim to a goal disallowed by an offside call in the 2010 World Cup. So what are the nuts and bolts of the rule? EPA/Sergey Dolzhenko

Explainer: the offside rule

The offside rule is perhaps one of the most controversial rules ever applied to football. We only need to look to Mexico vs Cameroon on day two of the 2014 World Cup. Thank god for the 61st minute goal…
Economic modelling predicts that Germany is the most likely country to qualify for the semi-finals at the 2014 World Cup. Economic modelling predicts that Germany is the most likely country to qualify for the semi-finals at the 2014 World Cup. EPA/Andreas Gebert

An economic crisis may make you stronger – in football

Forget Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Mario Balotelli. What will make your country more (or less) likely to succeed in the World Cup is its rate of economic growth. At this point, I expect European…
Russian model Irina Shayk is sure to turn heads off the pitch … but will boyfriend and Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo be able to keep his mind on the game? Russian model Irina Shayk is sure to turn heads off the pitch … but will boyfriend and Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo be able to keep his mind on the game? EPA/Walter Bieri

To score, or not to score? Sex, WAGs and the World Cup

While watching their national teams play in the World Cup, spectators may have their attention drawn away from the “beautiful game” on the pitch to the beautiful people off the pitch – the footballers…
Mario, we only need to win 1-0. Mario, we only need to win 1-0. Ettore Ferrari

Dirty, defensive, boring? Italy’s football reputation is undeserved

For much of its more than 100-year history, Italian football has been dogged by stereotypes. It has been seen as defensive, cynical, as lacking in “fair play”. These stereotypes have often applied to Italian…
Spain’s revitalisation of ‘beautiful football’ in recent years has been extremely successful. How have football tactics evolved over the years? Spain’s revitalisation of ‘beautiful football’ in recent years has been extremely successful. How have football tactics evolved over the years? EPA/Zurab Kurtsikidze

Tactics at the World Cup: a battle between aesthetics and results

The football World Cup may be yet to kick off, but there have already been innumerable discussions on the various playing styles that each country will adopt. Will they play a 4-4-2, a 4-2-3-1, or a straight…
Crowd pleasers. Crowd pleasers. Agência Brasil

Home advantage makes Brazil the favourite to win World Cup

The “home advantage” is a well known phenomenon in sporting circles with home teams consistently winning more than 50% of sporting contests. But how exactly does playing at home help Brazil and disadvantage…
FIFA suggests that 270 million people are involved in playing or officiating football around the world, with billions also tuning into the World Cup every four years. FIFA suggests that 270 million people are involved in playing or officiating football around the world, with billions also tuning into the World Cup every four years. EPA/Sebastiao Moreira

It may be the World Cup, but how global is the ‘world game’?

In 1863, the newly formed English Football Association (FA) drew up and published the first Laws of the Game of football. The aim was to provide a set of universal rules to govern the various forms of…
Spain took home the 2010 World Cup trophy – can they do it again this year? Spain took home the 2010 World Cup trophy – can they do it again this year? EPA/Peter Klaunzer

World Cup 2014 predictions: who will take the title?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a hard-core football nut, a once-every-four-years fan or even a psychic animal – most of us speculate on the winner of the World Cup. The 2014 competition is held in Brazil…
Worthy winners? Worthy winners? Anthony Stanley

Hard Evidence: what is the World Cup worth?

Ever wondered what the World Cup is worth? When Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga designed the current trophy in 1971, it was worth US$50,000. Now the trophy is estimated to be worth US$10m. The World…
A representative of an outdated establishment with 19th century views … and Princes Charles. A representative of an outdated establishment with 19th century views … and Princes Charles. Justin Tallias/PA

Scudamore email affair reveals Britain’s elitist club culture

Controversy continues to envelop Richard Scudamore, the long-standing Chief Executive of the English Premier League, nearly two weeks after sexist emails he exchanged with business associates were leaked…
Will the FA give England fans something to cheer? Will the FA give England fans something to cheer? Lewis Whyld/PA

The FA is hamstrung as English clubs have too much power

In an unusual attempt to pre-empt England’s inevitable World Cup failure, the FA has published a report to investigate problems affecting the national team. The report represents the findings of the England…
The national obsession: But do we make the most of it? The national obsession: But do we make the most of it? Alasdair Middleton

Scotland could make much more of its sporting identity on international stage

After the Scottish National Party had a bad result at the 1992 general election, deputy leader Jim Sillars famously accused the Scots of being “90-minute patriots”. His point, to paraphrase wildly, was…
Taking the heat. Moyes exits. Taking the heat. Moyes exits. Peter Powell/EPA

Don’t blame Moyes for Man Utd woes: the buck stops at the top

Patience at Manchester United has run out. David Moyes has been sacked possibly sooner than was expected, but entirely predictably given the huge financial pressures that were looming if the team continued…
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…

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