Tag Archives | World Cup

Why the Far Right Hates Soccer

US_Soccer_logoI 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 even more! Dave Zirin writes for The Nation/NPR:

Every World Cup, it arrives like clockwork. As sure as the ultimate soccer spectacle brings guaranteed adrenaline and agony to fans across the United States, it also drives the right-wing noise machine utterly insane.

“It doesn’t matter how you try to sell it to us,” yipped the Prom King of new right, Glenn Beck. “It doesn’t matter how many celebrities you get, it doesn’t matter how many bars open early, it doesn’t matter how many beer commercials they run, we don’t want the World Cup, we don’t like the World Cup, we don’t like soccer, we want nothing to do with it.”

Beck’s wingnut godfather, G. Gordon Liddy also said on his radio program,

‘Whatever happened to American exceptionalism?

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South African Team May Use “Muti” Magic To Win World Cup

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...
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2010 World Cup Good Luck Charm: Smoking Vulture Brains

vulture-picturesOne of the hottest 2010 World Cup South Africa items is vulture brains. Soccer gamblers smoke the brains in order to bring good luck to their teams of choice. Plus, smoking vulture brains is as pleasant, smooth and mellow as a filtered cigarette at sunset. The U.K.’s Metro notes:

Conservationists believe the growth of ‘muti’ magic in South Africa ahead of the World Cup has seen a surge in poaching of Cape vultures, already at risk from lack of food and poisoning.

‘The harvesting of the bird’s heads by followers of muti magic is an additional threat these birds can’t endure,’ said Mark Anderson, of BirdLife South Africa.

Steve McKean, from KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, who has been studying the decline of vultures due to muti magic, said: ‘Our research suggests that killing of vultures for so-called “traditional” use could render the Cape vulture extinct in some parts of South Africa within half a century.

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World Cup Soccer In Africa: Who Really Wins?

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...
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Extreme Fans Would Give Up A Body Part For Their Team To Win The World Cup

world_cup_2010_logoA survey reveals that some soccer fans are so eager to see their national team win at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa that they’d give up a body part to make it happen. I really want England to win, but I’m not sure I’d go that far … would you? Reported by Reuters:

Fifty-one percent of respondents to the tongue-in-cheek survey of 20,000 people, who live in North America but hail from countries with teams in the June 11-July 11 World Cup, said they would starve themselves for a week if that would bring victory to their national squad.

More than 40 percent offered to give up dating for a year, while seven percent said they would gladly give up their job to see their country win the title.

A further four percent were willing to give away a body part.

The survey was conducted by U.S.-based international calling firm VIP Communications Inc (www.JoinVIP.com) ahead of the South African extravaganza featuring 32 nations.

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Did Corruption Bring The World Cup To Africa?

FIFA, the soccer world's governing body, has been accused of various corrupt practices, as has its controversial president, Sepp Blatter, who engineered the selection of South Africa for the 2010 edition of the event, which takes place every four years, like the Olympics. Rumors of bribery amongst African nations swirled at the time of Blatter's election as FIFA president. The upcoming disinformation® documentary World Cup Soccer in Africa: Who Really Wins? also questions FIFA's motives and whether the event will really benefit Africa. Now William Watts asks some tough questions of FIFA, at Marketwatch:
It may carry a lower profile than the International Olympic Committee, another controversial, Swiss-based international sports body. And to many Americans, Fifa, which stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association, means nothing alongside the likes of the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball. But the overseer of international soccer captained by Joseph "Sepp" Blatter has repeatedly shaken off allegations of corruption and regional in-fighting as well as a global recession to become arguably the most powerful sports organization on the planet. It's all down to the World Cup -- the quadrennial extravaganza that crowns the world's soccer champion and is rivaled only by the Olympics as the most watched sporting event around the globe. Blatter last month was able to brag that Fifa's annual 2009 revenues passed the $1 billion level for the first time in its history, leaving the organization with a $196 million surplus...
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Al-Qaeda Targets Soccer World Cup

world_cup_2010_logoSomehow the authors of this story focused on the bad guys of the Algerian branch of Al-Qaeda wanting to strike a blow against the infidels of England and the USA when the soccer teams of those two countries play each other in South Africa on June 13, 2010, but I think it’s more likely that the Algerians want to improve their chances of making it to the knockout stage of the competition. Group C comprises, perhaps to the surprise only of the journalists at the Press Association: England, USA, Slovenia and, yes, Algeria.

FIFA are aware of fresh threats made by al-Qaeda to target this summer’s World Cup, but insist nothing will prevent the tournament from being staged in South Africa.

An Algerian wing of the group has claimed they will carry out attacks on England’s Group C match against the United States on June 12 in Rustenberg, prompting new security fears less than two months before the start of the competition.

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South Africa Imports 42 Million Condoms For World Cup Soccer

world_cup_2010_logoPerhaps taking a cue from the emergency shipment of condoms sent to Vancouver after the Olympic village exhausted supplies, soccer’s World Cup in South Africa, coming up in June, is making sure that the AIDS-ravaged nation has ample supplies, as reported in the Guardian:

Britain is to give 42m condoms to South Africa in response to a request for an extra billion as part of an HIV prevention drive before the World Cup, the government will announce today.

The request for British help in stockpiling sufficient condoms for the expected influx of thousands of football supporters in three months’ time was made during President Jacob Zuma’s recent visit to the UK to meet the Queen.

“Obviously there’s a big focus on the World Cup coming up and a huge increase in the number of people coming into South Africa,” said the international development minister, Gareth Thomas, who will announce the £1m funding today at an emergency summit in London on HIV prevention and treatment.

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