Homophobia in Football


Kick It Out are leading the way

If the average football fan was asked to name an openly gay player their answer would more than likely be based on speculation rather than fact. This is because in the modern game only one man has openly declared his sexuality, Justin Fashanu, and he sadly took his own life in 1998.

Homophobia is an issue that has very rarely been tackled in the “beautiful game” and is seen by many as a taboo subject, PR tycoon Max Clifford openly admitted telling two big name Premier league players to keep their sexuality hidden because English football “remains in the dark ages and is steeped in homophobia.” Read more of this post

The Great Legacy of Santos FC


Pele's Santos

The story of Santos will always be inextricably linked and defined by Pele. This is perhaps inevitable, any club would be defined by a player widely recognised to be one of the best footballers of all time. However even before Pele Santos were a reasonably successful club, having won the Brazilian state championship in 1935 and 1955. The clubs trajectory was completely altered though in 1956, when Valdemar de Brito invited a mere 15 year old named Pele to sign for the club. The rest, as they say, is history. From the Brazilian culture of poverty and street soccer (he couldn’t afford boots or a ball, so played barefoot with a stuffed sock), Pele rose to the pinnacle of the worlds game. In twenty years at Santos, Pele scored a frankly ridiculous 1087 goals in 1120 matches. -read on>

How do we combat sexism in football?


West Ham's Karen Brady ahs led the way for women off the pitch

In recent years, women have started to have more and more of a substantial role in football. Karen Brady has led the way off the pitch, currently as vice-chairman of West Ham United Football Club and previously as CEO of Birmingham City Football Club. On the pitch, Wendy Toms was the first ever female assistant referee, officiating in the football league as early as 1994.

So why when women have been a part of men’s football for so long is there still sexism in our game? -read on>

Omar Cummings and the American Way


Can we learn from Omar Cummings and the American way?

Colorado Rapids talisman Omar Cummings isn’t exactly a household name within the realms of world or even domestic football. But his performances during a recent trial spell at Aston Villa could have altered the former, with Gerard Houillier pronouncing that Cummings was ‘getting better with every training session’. However, tragedy struck for Cummings, who was to be let down by a slip in the international rankings of his native Jamaica, rendering his work permit application an impossibility.

Cummings’ rise to relative, albeit short-term European fame highlights an intriguing contrast of youth player development between the US College system and the British YTS route. For us British football enthusiasts it would be unheard of to think that a recent graduate of even the English football powerhouse universities such as Harper Adams College or the University of Bath could eventually rise through the ranks to within touching distance of the Premier League in such a short space of time. -read on>

Playing Politics


 

Welcome to Thailand - Chonburi fans in Ayutthaya

The 2011 Thai Premier League gets underway on February 12th amid unprecedented levels of popularity. The huge wave of interest in the TPL generated by the 2009 relaunch shows little sign of slowing: attendances are high, half a dozen TV channels offer TPL coverage, big-name sponsors have got involved, new stands and stadia are springing up and the game has never been so awash with cash. And the game has never been so awash with cash. That fact is a double-edged sword. Money builds new stadia and buys quality players; money also creates vested interests. The concern is, and with no little justification as we shall see, that the waterfalls of money that have been pouring into the game will influence decision-making by those in power whose impartiality should be unquestionable. And whose decisions should be influenced solely by doing what’s best by Thai football. Doing what’s best, for example, by the national team.

The Elephants have been making headlines recently for the wrong reasons. Rather embarrassingly, they failed to make it out of their group in the AFF Cup in December. This tournament, contested by the eight best footballing nations in Southeast Asia, has been dominated by Thailand over the years. But in the 2010 competition, they didn’t manage to win one of their three group games and needed an injury-time equalizer to avoid what would have been a shocking defeat to Laos. The players complained of fatigue brought on by a hectic domestic league and cup schedule for their early exit. It’s not in my nature to indulge the complaints of the modern player; but this time he should be listened to. -read on>

Does Foster have the ‘Hart’ to become England’s numer 1?


Ben Foster England's number 1?

We’ve heard a lot about English goalkeeping problems over the last year, and rightly so, but in my opinion, after several years in the goalkeeping wilderness, we now possess two who are potentially world class.  Joe Hart has been doing good things for the last two seasons, but it’s the man Manchester United kept hidden away who I wish to discuss: Ben Foster. -read on>

Qatar 2022: Winter wonderland or summer scorcher?


Sepp Blatter 'sheiks' hands with Qatar Qatar Football Association president Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed al-Thani

In 2022 the world will be watching with baited breath as Qatar try to host the world’s biggest event, the World Cup.  The Qatar bid has been a controversial one ever since it was announced it would host the competition by FIFA president Sepp Blatter in November.

Out of the nine World Cup bids aiming to win either the 2018 or the 2022 event, only Qatar’s bid was deemed “high risk” by FIFA officials, who evaluated all the bids.  Despite their own representatives coming to this conclusion, the FIFA voters didn’t listen, and Qatar was awarded the competition, beating the USA in the 4th round by 14 votes to 8, and FIFA citing the reason of “trying to expand the game around the World” as to why they come to this decision. read on

David Beckham – The Legacy


A teary eyed man stands in front of a 12,000 strong audience receiving a 2 minute standing ovation after receiving a lifetime achievement award for his sport. A man who is greatly admired and idolised, a man who has been at the top of his profession for some time. That man is David Beckham.

Some may be thinking how can a man of just 35 years be given a lifetime achievement award? The award previously has been given to the likes of Pele, Mohammed Ali and Sir Bobby Robson, people who have spent their whole lives in their chosen sport and taking that sport forward in many ways. How can a man of so few years in comparison be standing alongside them? Well I believe it is down to what people can see in the future. The foundations are already set but David, in the future, can change the face of football and sport as a whole. -read on>

Umbrellas for Goal Post


This is England

Big Sam is renowned for taking a dogged approach to the game, his style often described as ‘dirty’ or ‘hit and run’. So would it surprise you that I would call Sam Allardyce innovative? Allardyce has had more ideas than Stuart Baggs, remember when the FA decided to change the offside rule so that you have to effect play to be offside….so Sam put two players on the line from a free kick. And what about his training techniques…according to Michael Owen, he had his Newcastle squad on morning bike rides and pilate’s (quite a contrast from the usual football training regime’s).

Despite being sacked from Blackburn in the week, Big Sam didn’t go down without leaving one of his latest ideas with us…’Youth Football should be played in the Summer!’

Well should it? -read on>

Blatter And The Money Making Factory!


Sepp Blatter Silences the Football World

Sepp Blatter the Swiss born FIFA president has been in the eye of the media for several weeks. The weeks approaching the important World Cup meetings where it would be announced where the next two tournaments would take place where filled with positivity and great hope for the World Cup to return to its routes and Sepp Blatter was one of many councils who hinted at its return over competitors such as Russia and Spain-Portugal. Therfore as usual our media jumped on the bandwagon and played on these hints and rumors of a return which in my opinion where right to do so. However the media was first to hit out at the FIFA organization when the shock selection of Russia was pulled out of the envelope which would shatter David Beckham and co.’s hopes. I for one am not the greatest FIFA fan although whilst the debating was taking place I choose to take a seat at the back of the raging football fanatics. However I think the time has come for me to hit out at such critics! -read on>

Will FIFA Change Because of the English Reaction?


Sepp Blatter announces Russia to host the 2018 World Cup - http://images.planetf1.com

After a disastrous World Cup this year English football fans looked forward to the possibility of ending 2010 on a high note by winning the right to host the World Cup in 2018. This however was not to be the case, England lost out to Russia after going out in the first round only managing to gain two votes, one of which being from our own English representative Geoff Thompson. Another surprise was that the ‘great’ footballing nation of Qatar would be hosts for the 2022 World Cup.

Many fans, myself included, thought that England was almost guaranteed the privilege to host the World Cup when it was announced we would be putting a bid in. So last weeks announcement came as a huge shock, not only that but it has also angered and bewildered many people. This has been brought about by the way FIFA seems to have conducted the bidding process. The British media recently exposed elements of corruption and bribery within FIFA, most notably coming from investigations conducted by the Sunday Times and BBC’s Panorama. -read on>

Is Wayne Rooney’s Injury a blessing in disguise?


A depleted Wayne Rooney - sourced from arsenalcolumn.files.wordpress.com

Just over a month ago Wayne Rooney the golden boy of Manchester United was stretchered off during a two-all draw at the Reebok stadium. And what a difference one month makes! At first we had the ‘is he/ isn’t he injured’ debacle, followed by where will Rooney be playing his football in January. Wayne Rooney now sits in Dubai perceived by his team and fans very differently to the demi-god, he was just one month ago. The irony of the whole situation is that Rooney who claimed he wasn’t injured, hasn’t started for United since that away draw at Bolton, and following Alex Fergusons comments today (see http://tiny.cc/niv0y) it looks like he will be out for another 5 weeks(I wonder whether Rooney dare contradict Ferguson this time)?

Now I know Rooney has been described as a liar, selfish, disloyal etc. but no one seems to have mentioned the term ‘burnt out’. And that is exactly what I intend to do. -take a peak>

Does England lack talent?


They are the words that I have learnt to live with over the last few months ‘The England team is rubbish and the young English players lack talent’ and the shortlist for the Ballon d’or seems to reiterate this. The shortlist which was realeased earlier today shows that not one English player has been nominated for the award. For me the most notable nominees are; Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller. The two German youngsters have particularly caught my eye because it was just over a year ago that a German U21 side lined up against an England U21 side including James Milner, Theo Walcott, Adam Johnson in the Euro U21 championships final. So why is it that Ozil and Muller appear to have the world at their feet and the young English players are blasted by the public as useless? And, why have Spain and Germany succeeded where England appear to have failed? -take a peak.>

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