Tag Archives | World Cup

The World Cup Spilleth Over: As the Soccer Games End, Political Ones Begin

The World Cup has spilleth over. With the FIFA spectacle about to pack up its goodies—most of their lucre has already been wired out of Brazil—it’s time for hype for the next global spectacle, as the “host” country now tries to cope with its financial losses, intensified social conflicts and humiliating defeat at the hands of the Germans after earlier losing their star player to a nasty collision on the field, and their valiant captain to a suspension.

Brazil 2014 Blue green yellow football Background FREE VECTOR

On s symbolic level, Brazil’s bashing at the feet of Germany using bum rush tactics compared to the Nazi “Blitzgrieg” brought smiles to Old Europe, and pain to a nation struggling with massive poverty and inequality.

In a way, it underscored the dependence and anger that so many Brazilians felt, even as the issues they have raising and marching to call attention to, have all been but ignored by the sportscasters who know game scores but not the scores of life—the great gaps that events like the World Cup paper over.… Read the rest

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Why Soccer Is UnAmerican

Landon Donovan vs Algeria

The face of US Soccer, Landon Donovan, controversially excluded from the US National Team for Brazil’s World Cup 2014.

As self-proclaimed experts in all things UnAmerican, we thought disinfonauts should be given the chance to consider whether association football (known as soccer in the US) is, indeed, UnAmerican as claimed by Stephen H. Webb at Politico:

Sports are a reflection of national character and aspirations, and it is no coincidence, I think, that soccer has had a hard time catching on in the United States. Simply put, soccer—call it “football” if you must—is a tragic game, and thus it cuts deeply against the grain of the American ethos. Americans are an optimistic people. We like scoring too much to enjoy a game that is more about preventing success than achieving it.

Soccer is like watching a bunch of Sisyphuses competing against each other by trying to roll the same rock up a hill—without using their hands, of course.

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Black Bloc In Brazil To Interrupt World Cup

Illustrazione di un Black BlocCould it be that Black Bloc “members” are football fans (soccer if you’re a Yank)? Apparently they’re going to be in Brazil for the world’s greatest sporting event–the FIFA World Cup–and certain media reports would have it that they’ll be turning the tournament cities into riot zones. From Global Post via The Week:

Their faces hide behind scarves, gas masks, and motorcycle helmets. TV images show them smashing cars, hurling bricks at police, and setting tires ablaze on the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian politicians have claimed they are a national security threat.

But who really are these protesters who plan to run riot at the World Cup as soon as the inaugural game kicks off on June 12?

Brazil’s police allege the militants form an extremist group called the Black Bloc, and say they are watching its leaders. The local press has published exposes claiming that the Black Bloc is funded by foreigners intent on spoiling the nation’s moment of glory.

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Nearly 1,000 Workers Have Already Died Building Qatar’s World Cup Infastructure

qatarOur global sporting championship has a higher blood toll than the Hunger Games. Via the Smithsonian:

In 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup. Since 2012, about 900 workers have died while working on infrastructure in Qatar, in a building boom anticipating the World Cup.

A report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) says that if conditions don’t get any better, by the time the World Cup kicks off, at least 4,000 migrant workers will have died on the job. For comparison, only six workers have died during construction for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil that starts this summer.

Workers described forced labour in 50C (122F) heat, employers who retain salaries for several months and passports making it impossible for them to leave and being denied free drinking water. The investigation found sickness is endemic among workers living in overcrowded and insanitary conditions and hunger has been reported.

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Robotic Clouds Could Help Cool 2022 Qatar World Cup (Animation)

Qatar 2022BBC Sport reports:
Scientists at Qatar University claim to have developed artificial clouds to provide shade for stadia and training grounds at the 2022 World Cup. The fierce summer heat in the Gulf has led to concerns about conditions for players and fans at the tournament. Temperatures in June and July can reach up to 50 C. Qatar were announced as hosts in December, and Fifa president Sepp Blatter initially said he expected the 2022 competition to be moved to winter. But Blatter has since stated that he feels the tournament will go ahead as planned in the summer months. Qatar plan to air condition their World Cup stadia via solar power, and now scientists have designed the 'clouds', which can be produced at a cost of $500,000 (about £310,000) each.
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The World Cup Of Robot Soccer

In addition to the World Cup, this summer featured RoboCup -- an international tournament in which teams of soccer-playing robots square off. The level of play is low, and the game is often unsettling to watch, as when a fallen robot player struggles fruitlessly to right itself, limbs flailing. The hope, however, is that by 2050, a robot team skilled enough to compete against humans will be developed.
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The Psychic Crocodile Gives Paul The Octopus Some Competition

Anyone who paid even a little bit of attention to the World Cup this summer must have heard about Paul, the psychic octopus in Germany. Now Australia is heralding a psychic crocodile, as reported in the Telegraph:
Harry, a saltwater croc who also predicted Spain would win the World Cup, only to be overshadowed by the German mystic Paul, made his choice in his enclosure in the northern city of Darwin.
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Alternative Marketing for Vuvuzelas

With the World Cup finished there has been a deafening quiet without the constant noise of vuvuzelas. To make sure that all those horns don't go to waste we'll have to get creative about different ways to use them. Vuvuzelas make noise, Guitar Hero is a game based on noise, the two seem like a perfect match. Maybe Vuvuzela Hero will catch on.
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