Brazil World Cup 2014: workers' deaths, racism, gentrification, and cultural terrorism

A brief look at the deaths of four construction workers at the World Cup 2014 stadium construction sites, and at several other scandals associated with next summer's tournament, FIFA, event organisers, and the Brazilian political elite.

Despite everyone knowing the opposite to be true, the Brazilian sports minister claims that all the world cup stadiums will be finished and ready to hand over in January 2014. His smugness over the speed of their completion has come with a heavy cost.

Fascism and Football

A documentary on how the Fascist regimes of Spain, Italy and Germany made football an important pillar of their propaganda and the lengths they went to in order to control the sport both domestically and internationally.

Remembering Treviso’s controversial 2001 anti-racism gesture - Paolo Bandini

Article about the anti-racist display by Treviso FC players, following trouble directed at a Nigerian teammate.

It was not the sort of story you expect to make the national newspapers. A journeyman forward, whose team play the fifth tier of Italian football, getting into a fight at a wedding reception is not exactly high up the public interest agenda. It had been a significant brawl, with police called and the player requiring stitches in his arm, but hardly hold-the-front-page material.

Volker Ippig - goalkeeper and squatter

Anarchist footballer who played in the Bundesliga with St. Pauli later becoming a coach and dock worker.

Volker Ippig joined St. Pauli during the late 70s as a trainee. He broke into the first team in 1981 as an 18 year old. He would go on to play over 90 games in both the top and first divisions. He lived in the Hafenstraße squats, and would take time off to fight police in eviction attempts.

The Di Canio case: children are watching

Children are watching. And they are frightened by our indifference to fascism.

Original post published here. Thanks to Luca Pisapia and La Privata Repubblica.

“Always historicize.” Fredric Jameson

Soccer civil rights

Obdulio Valera

A vignette about the 1949 Uruguayan footballers' strike by Eduardo Galeano, self-professed beggar of good soccer and author of Soccer in Sun and Shadow.

The grass was getting long in the empty stadiums.

Strikers on strike, and defenders too; Uruguay's soccer players, slaves of their teams were simply demanding acknowledgment of their union and its right to exist. Their cause was so scandalously just that people supported them, even as time wore on and each soccerless Sunday became an insufferable yawn.

Return to standing?

One premier league and several championship clubs have given their backing to a campaign for the re-introduction of ‘standing’ facilities at football matches. Added to this, around fifty MP’s have signed an early day motion calling for a ‘trial’ of standing sections.

Many other are strongly opposed to any return to standing at 1st and 2nd tier football stadiums, not least the Hillsborough families. The disaster of 1989 was not the first occasion that fans had been crushed at Hillsborough. In a 1981 FA Cup semi-final 38 Spurs fans were injured after being crushed - and similar events took place in 1987 and again in 1988.

What fascists understand about the Yids that the Society of Black Lawyers doesn't

A look at some of the context behind the vicious attack by fascists on Tottenham fans in Rome before the teams met for their Europa League tie.

Considering last weekend's result, it feels pretty odd for me - as an Arsenal fan - to sit down and try to write something about Tottenham that isn't just about how shit they are. But that's what's happening. A couple of things have happened over the past few weeks that means gloating about a derby victory takes a back seat to the other stuff.

World Cup Qatar: festivities built on slavery

Dohar Foorball stadium - brought to you by forced labour

My latest piece I wrote for Freedom magazine, published in the October issue. On migrant workers' conditions in Qatar, where the World Cup of 2022 is supposed to be held. Basically the original version, but with a few small corrections.

One of the Arab countries apparently almost untouched by the Arab Spring is Qatar. The tide of protest and revolt more or less passed this Emirate by. The main news channel spreading attention to these events, Aljazeera, is Qatari-baed and regime-owned, which does not help to raise attention to what happens there.

Wear the shirt and doff your cap….or else

A brief look at the decision by over 30 players not to wear the 'Kick it Out Campaign' T-shirt, and the response of the football establishment elite.

In the run up to this weekend’s premier league fixtures the sports pages were filled with stories regarding the black footballer Jason Roberts, and his decision to not wear a ‘Kick it Out Campaign’ shirt, prior to his teams match. Roberts said that: