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It was a victorious year for the German football team. EPA/Andreas Gebert

The sporting year that was 2014, and the one that lies ahead

It was a massive year for sport – a winter Olympics, a summer World Cup, the FIFA World Cup scandal that won’t die, and reforms afoot at the International Olympic Committee. Here are some of my highlights…
Perhaps FIFA’s Sepp Blatter (centre) could learn a few things from CAF president, Issa Hayatou (L). EPA/Laszlo Beliczay

Disorganisation and immorality put football on path to absurdity

Albert Camus once said, “What I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport.” He was referring to the relative simplicity of morality on a football pitch rather than the realm of…
The Winter Games in Sochi cost $50 billion, making them the most expensive ever. Reuters

Chasing glory: why hosting the Olympics rarely pays off

The competition to host the Olympic Games has typically been fierce, but an increased awareness of the giant money pit they usually become is convincing some cities to think twice. Earlier this month Oslo…
Pulling the plug on services will be costly. AMA via Shutterstock

Austerity cuts to local leisure services is a false economy

Public sector workers have been taking to the streets protesting the below-inflation pay rises and austerity. The Trades Union Congress hoped this would send a clear message to the British government…
Sport is often compared with religion in Australia. But how do fans' relationships with their football teams manifest? AAP/Joe Castro

More than a game: how attached are we to our teams?

At some point, you’ve no doubt heard someone say “football is my religion”. And if we follow French sociologist Emile Durkheim’s famous building blocks for religion, we will find that football is not far…
The role played in ‘normalising’ gambling in sport and society by the likes of online bookmaker Tom Waterhouse was examined by the ABC’s Four Corners program. AAP/Paul Miller

Born to bet? Four Corners on the Tom Waterhouse media effect

Last night, ABC’s Four Corners investigated Tom Waterhouse’s heavily marketed entrance to the online Australian sports wagering industry. Along the way it showed the ways in which the gambling industry…
The Channel 9-Cricket Australia broadcast rights dispute drags on, now reaching the courts: could cricket broadcasting icon Richie Benaud soon be lost from our screens? AAP/Dean Lewins

When law, business and media collide, is sport the only loser?

Cricket Australia’s Supreme Court legal action against its host broadcaster of the past 36 years, Channel Nine, is the manifestation of an identifiable pattern. It continues a time-honoured practice in…
Alcohol marketing is ubiquitous in AFL broadcasts as can be seen in this shot from a match on Saturday, May 4, 2013. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Beer and chips protected species as sports ban healthy eating ads

The Australian Football League (AFL) and Cricket Australia have refused to sell advertising space to a Tasmanian man trying to raise awareness of the impact of junk food and alcohol advertising linked…
As the drugs scandal continues to plague Essendon, its ‘hardcore’ fans have stood by the club and embattled coach James Hird. AAP/David Crosling

Drugs in sport saga: do the fans really care?

When the drugs in Australian sport investigation was announced in early February, much was made of the importance of protecting fans from the actions of wrongdoers. But here we are, three months into this…
Alcohol, tobacco, and fast-food industry sponsorship of sport sends the wrong message to the population. Dean Lewins/AAP

‘As a matter of fact, I’ve got it now’: alcohol advertising and sport

Sport is generally a healthy activity that transmits important societal values, such as fairness, perseverance, and teamwork. Unfortunately, it’s also the primary vehicle for marketing alcohol to the general…

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