World Cup

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…

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.

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.

Here at the disinformation New York offices there are those who couldn’t care less about sports, and others (that would be me) who spend way too much time in the world of sports, playing, watching, coaching, trash talking, etc. In this Democracy Now video, founding editor of the Indypendent, Arun Gupta, debates Nation Magazine sports columnist Dave Zirin.

Who do you think wins?

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.

“We are a nation, we decide ourselves,”  waved on Catalonian flags. With the united celebration in Spain after the World Cup final, domestic concerns for Catalonia’s autonomy still persists. Over a million people marched in the streets of Barcelona after Catalan was declared, yet again, that the region would not be recognized as a nation. BBC reports:

The demonstration comes a day after a constitutional court declared that there was no legal basis to recognise Catalonia as a nation. The ruling also said the Catalan language should not take precedence over Castilian Spanish.

It followed a challenge to the region’s statute by the opposition People’s Party, which favours Spanish unity. The statute of autonomy was approved by Catalan voters in a 2006 referendum. It gave greater powers to the regional parliament in taxation and judicial matters.

World Cup of CokeBBC News reports:

A replica World Cup trophy seized by anti-drugs police in Colombia is made out of cocaine, lab tests have confirmed. The 36cm (14in) statue was found in a delivery crate at Bogota airport.

The crate was in an airmail warehouse waiting to be sent to an address in Spain, airport anti-drug chief Jose Piedrahita said. In another development, a submarine built by drug-traffickers was found in Ecuador before its maiden voyage.

The World Cup replica was made up of 11kg (24 lb) of the drug, mixed with acetone or gasoline to make it mouldable.

I already love soccer, but the mere fact that the likes of Glenn Beck feel threatened by its mainstream popularity in the United States makes me want to love the beautiful game…

The South African national soccer team’s nickname “Bafana Bafana” is sometimes pejoratively renamed “Banana Banana” in SA, due to their underwhelming performances, so if they can use some good old black magic to assist them in the World Cup, it will be much needed! Report by Nicolas Brulliard for the Wall Street Journal:

JOHANNESBURG—As the second-lowest ranked team in the World Cup competition, South Africa is expected to lose its opening match Friday against Mexico. But to ensure victory, Michael Mvakali recommends a simple fix: a concoction of plants and animal limbs.

“You use the horse’s foot and the ostrich leg, you mix it with some herbs and you put it on the players, on their knees and their legs, and when they kick, even the goalkeeper can’t get hold of that ball…

In June 2010 the world’s most popular sporting event – soccer’s FIFA World Cup – will come to Africa for the first time. With less than two weeks remaining before the first match of the month-long tournament, one can practically hear the soon to be famous vuvuzelas – ubiquitous and deafening plastic horns that South Africans love to blow during the games – all the way around the world, such is the gathering media hype.

There is no doubting the overwhelming sense of excitement at large in South Africa. However, if one digs a little deeper, there are also those who question the vast sums being spent by the government of what is still a nation with millions of its citizens living in poverty.

With that in mind, in 2008 I began making the documentary film World Cup Soccer In Africa: Who Really Wins? to investigate what South Africans, across the social spectrum, believed the staging of the FIFA World Cup would mean for them personally, and for the country as a whole. The objective was to assemble a record of hopes and expectations, at that time in the country’s history – something to look back upon after the tournament was over, and in the context of actual experience (as explored in interviews to be conducted subsequently in late 2010).

There was, without exception, interest in the project expressed by everyone who was approached for an interview. The ultimate list of interviewees was essentially determined by logistics – whether they were present in a particular city on the same day that I was. For example, as luck had it, Archbishop Tutu…