The Africa Cup of Nations Reveals Glimpses of a Better Continent

The Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament shows glimpses of a different vision for the continent.

#africa, #africa-cup-of-nations-game, #colonization, #immigration-and-emigration, #soccer

FIFA’s Best? Pitso Mosimane Doesn’t Fit the Model

Pitso Mosimane enjoyed a better 2021 than almost any coach in world soccer. Just don’t expect FIFA, or soccer, to notice.

#al-ahly-soccer-team, #coaches-and-managers, #content-type-personal-profile, #international-federation-of-association-football-fifa, #mosimane-pitso, #soccer

An English Soccer Team’s Existential Crisis: Is It Really in Wales?

The English soccer club Chester F.C. postponed a game after Welsh health officials claimed authority over its home. In an era when once loose British borders are stratifying, a curiosity may become a crisis.

#chester-fc-soccer-team, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #england, #english-football-assn, #soccer, #stadiums-and-arenas, #wales

Manchester City, Chelsea and Competing With Perfection

Pep Guardiola’s ideas and his teams have changed the way England views the game. The danger is that those changes affect perceptions of what qualifies as success.

#chelsea-soccer-team, #english-premier-league, #guardiola-josep, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer

Cameroon’s Goalkeeper André Onana Just Wants to Play

Cameroon’s 25-year-old goalkeeper has already had his career interrupted twice by bans. Now he’s back, and eager to move on.

#ajax-soccer-team, #barcelona-soccer-team, #cameroon, #content-type-personal-profile, #doping-sports, #onana-andre-1996, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

For Africa Cup of Nations, Embrace the Unknown

The Africa Cup of Nations probably will be decided by players who earn their livings in Europe. But the best of the tournament lies in its surprises.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #laporta-joan, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #rangnick-ralf-1958, #salah-mohamed-1992, #soccer

Daniel Sturridge Ordered to Pay $30,000 to Man Who Returned His Dog

Daniel Sturridge lost his Pomeranian in a 2019 break-in. A man who returned the dog sued for breach of contract after Mr. Sturridge reneged on a promised reward, according to court records.

#daniel-sturridge, #dogs, #foster-washington, #los-angeles-calif, #lucci, #pomeranian, #robberies-and-thefts, #soccer, #suits-and-litigation-civil

The Premier League’s Wealth Is Influencing Title Races Abroad

The outsize wealth of England’s clubs increasingly allows their owners to play a direct role in deciding the champions of other leagues.

#bloom-anthony-grant-1970, #brighton-and-hove-albion-soccer-team, #english-premier-league, #soccer

In the Premier League, There’s No Looking Back

England’s clubs are plowing ahead with their holiday schedule. But amid questions about Omicron and fairness, do they really have a choice?

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #english-premier-league, #internal-sub-only-nl, #kane-harry-1993, #klopp-jurgen-norbert-1967, #liverpool-soccer-team, #newcastle-united-soccer-team, #soccer

Premier League Buckles In Amid Covid Surge

Familiar fears return as the pandemic’s shadow returns to soccer, to sports, to everything.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #internal-sub-only-nl, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #soccer, #tottenham-hotspur-soccer-team, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Champions League Repeats Its Draw After a ‘Technical Problem’

A buzzed-about round of 16 matchup between Manchester United and Paris St.-Germain was the result of a mistake. P.S.G. will face Real Madrid instead.

#manchester-united-soccer-team, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #uefa-europa-league, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

French Soccer Wrestles Surge in Stadium Violence

The return of supporters to stadiums in France has been accompanied by a series of games postponed or marred by trouble in the stands.

#ligue-1-soccer, #marseille-soccer-team, #olympique-lyonnais-soccer-team, #payet-dimitri-1987, #soccer

NYCFC Played the Long Game to Reach MLS Cup

A team that once took the field behind big-name European imports embraced a new kind of star power en route to its first M.L.S. championship.

#major-league-soccer, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #new-york-city-football-club-soccer-team, #portland-timbers-soccer-team, #soccer

What Do We Mean by Good Soccer?

The best games manage to be both compulsive viewing and technically excellent, but those that clear that bar are rare. And that presents fans with a choice.

#arsenal-soccer-team, #internal-sub-only-nl, #liverpool-soccer-team, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer

Sports in 2021 Tried to Return to Normal

The coronavirus pandemic still had an impact, but players and leagues had their moments.

#aaron-hank, #antetokounmpo-giannis-1994, #athletics-and-sports, #biles-simone, #brady-tom, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #djokovic-novak, #football, #golf, #gymnastics, #horse-racing, #irving-kyrie, #kentucky-derby, #lee-sunisa-2003, #masters-golf-tournament, #nba-championship, #olympic-games-2020, #osaka-naomi-1997, #pga-championship, #soccer, #softball, #tennis, #united-states-open-tennis

What Happened in the P.S.G. Attack?

The assault of a top women’s player made headlines, with masked men, a metal bar and a teammate arrested. But weeks later, new details suggest the original story might have been wrong.

#abidal-eric, #assaults, #barcelona-soccer-team, #diallo-aminata-1995, #hamraoui-kheira-1990, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #soccer

Lionel Messi Wins Record Seventh Ballon d’Or

The Paris St.-Germain star capped a year in which he led Argentina to the Copa América title by edging Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.

#ballon-dor, #barcelona-soccer-team, #lewandowski-robert-1988, #messi-lionel, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer

He Knows the Ballon d’Or Winner. No, He Won’t Tell.

Encrypted email servers, secret meetings, strict confidentiality: How the identity of the winner of the Ballon d’Or, soccer’s biggest individual prize, is guarded like a state secret.

#awards-decorations-and-honors, #ballon-dor, #content-type-personal-profile, #france-football-magazine, #soccer

Manchester United Picks Ralf Rangnick as Interim Manager

Rangnick, an architect of the Red Bull soccer empire, will take over as United’s manager while the club pursues a permanent replacement for Ole Gunner Solskjaer.

#manchester-united-soccer-team, #rangnick-ralf-1958, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer, #solskjaer-ole-gunnar, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Karim Benzema, French Soccer Star, Is Convicted in Sex Tape Scandal

The Real Madrid striker was found guilty of being part of an attempt to blackmail a fellow player, charges that had led to his being dropped from his national team for more than five years.

#benzema-karim, #deschamps-didier, #extortion-and-blackmail, #federation-francaise-de-football, #france, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer

Manchester United and the Perils of Living in the Past

Years of success under Alex Ferguson changed the way United viewed itself. But the glory days are gone, and the sooner the club admits that, the better.

#english-premier-league, #ferguson-alex, #fernandes-bruno-1994, #liverpool-soccer-team, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer

Manchester United Fires Solskjaer After a Loss Too Far

Lopsided defeats against Liverpool and Manchester City had the one-time fan favorite teetering. A humbling loss at lowly Watford finished him off.

#english-premier-league, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #ole-gunnar-solskjaer, #soccer

Who Is Afghanistan’s Soccer Team Playing For?

Afghanistan’s national soccer team played a rare match this week. But with the Taliban in control of their country, what, and whom, are they playing for?

#international-federation-of-association-football-fifa, #middle-east-and-africa-migrant-crisis, #najem-david-1992, #politics-and-government, #soccer, #taliban

EA and FIFA’s 30-year videogame union at risk in battle over name

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan reacts in front of an EA Sports <em>FIFA 21</em> video game billboard advertising during the Series A football match between AC Milan and Torino FC in 2021.

Enlarge / Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan reacts in front of an EA Sports FIFA 21 video game billboard advertising during the Series A football match between AC Milan and Torino FC in 2021. (credit: Nicolò Campo | LightRocket | Getty Images)

For millions of football fans, “FIFA” refers not to the sport’s international governing body, but to their favorite video game.

The connection was formed 30 years ago, when California-based Electronic Arts licensed the name of Zurich-headquartered FIFA. The game is now played by 100 million people worldwide, has become a multibillion-dollar business, and is a cultural phenomenon.

Despite the long and profitable association, the two sides are in a bitter dispute over the value of the FIFA name. “We are not certain that we will move forward with FIFA as a naming rights partner,” David Jackson, a senior executive who runs EA’s football brand, told the Financial Times.

Read 23 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#association-football, #ea-sports, #fifa, #gaming-culture, #soccer

Erling Haaland and Norway Miss the World Cup

Norway’s failure to qualify for Qatar means Erling Haaland will have to watch from home. Norway has taken it in stride.

#borussia-dortmund-soccer-team, #haaland-erling-braut, #knausgaard-karl-ove, #odegaard-martin-1998, #soccer, #world-cup-2022-soccer

After Mexico Win. U.S. Falls Flat in Draw Against Jamaica

Before a sparse Kingston crowd limited by pandemic regulations, the United States could not sustain the momentum from its victory against Mexico last week in front of raucous home fans.

#pulisic-christian-1998, #soccer, #united-states-mens-national-soccer-team, #world-cup-2022-soccer

A Transfer Market Mystery: What’s a Player Worth?

The authorities in Italy are investigating dozens of transfers involving top clubs. In doing so, they might pull back the curtain on accounting practices that defy easy explanation.

#juventus-soccer-team, #napoli-soccer-team, #soccer, #trades-sports, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

U.S. Beats Mexico and Then Rubs It In

Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie scored and the Americans, fueled by a perceived slight, reveled in their third win over their rival this year.

#berhalter-gregg, #mckennie-weston, #pulisic-christian-1998, #soccer, #united-states-mens-national-soccer-team, #world-cup-2022-soccer

Ricardo Pepi Is the USMNT’s Striker of the Moment

Ricardo Pepi has played only four games for the U.S., but he provides the one thing his team needs most: goals.

#content-type-personal-profile, #pepi-ricardo-2003, #soccer, #united-states-mens-national-soccer-team, #world-cup-2022-soccer

Uruguay Braces for the End of Its Golden Generation

No South American nation has performed as well as Uruguay over the past three World Cups. Now the country’s three million people wonder if the good times might be over.

#cavani-edinson, #soccer, #suarez-luis-1987, #tabarez-oscar, #uruguay

P.S.G. Soccer Player Aminata Diallo Released Without Charges

Aminata Diallo was arrested and questioned by the police after her teammate was pulled from a car that Diallo was driving and beaten by masked men.

#diallo-aminata-1995, #hamraoui-kheira-1990, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #soccer

P.S.G. Women’s Player Arrested After Teammate Is Attacked

Aminata Diallo was taken into custody by investigators looking into an assault on her teammate Kheira Hamraoui.

#aminata-diallo, #harding-tonya, #kheira-hamraoui, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #soccer

Barcelona Femení and the Pursuit of Perfection

Barcelona Femení is the champion of Spain and Europe, and perhaps the most dominant club team in the world. The team’s coach and his players expect it to be better.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #olympique-lyonnais-soccer-team, #soccer, #womens-super-league-soccer

At Wrexham and Elsewhere, the Soccer Is Just a Story Line

In a steady stream of documentary series, more and more clubs are turning themselves into content. But where does spectacle end and sport begin?

#documentary-films-and-programs, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #mcelhenney-rob, #reynolds-ryan, #soccer, #sunderland-soccer-team, #television, #tottenham-hotspur-soccer-team, #wrexham-afc-soccer-team

Former FIFA Officials Face Fraud Charges Over Secret Payment

Sepp Blatter is accused of breaking Swiss law in approving a $2 million payment from soccer’s governing body to a onetime ally, Michel Platini.

#blatter-sepp, #international-federation-of-association-football-fifa, #platini-michel, #soccer

At Elite Teams, a Shrinking Vision of What a Coach Looks Like

Barcelona is looking for a new manager, and Manchester United may need one soon. But the pool of coaches elite clubs hire from is getting smaller every year, and that’s a problem.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #guardiola-josep, #internal-sub-only-nl, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer

Saudi Finance Official Is Missing From Conference He Hosts

The unexplained absence of Yasir al-Rumayyan, who oversees the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, has highlighted concerns about a lack of transparency.

#blackstone-group-the, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #goldman-sachs-group-inc, #middle-east, #middle-east-institute, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #newcastle-united-soccer-team, #politics-and-government, #private-equity, #riyadh-saudi-arabia, #rumayyan-yasir-al, #saudi-arabia, #soccer, #sovereign-wealth-funds, #vaccination-and-immunization

Manchester United Defeat Shows Solskjaer Isn’t the Only Problem

A thrashing by Liverpool showed that problems with Manchester United extend well beyond Solskjaer, the team’s manager.

#liverpool-soccer-team, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #pogba-paul, #ronaldo-cristiano, #salah-mohamed-1992, #soccer, #solskjaer-ole-gunnar

At Barcelona, Life After Lionel Messi Is Haunted by the Past

The departure of Lionel Messi shook Barcelona to its foundations. But on a good day, if you look closely, you can see the shoots of a new era.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #messi-lionel, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Manchester United’s Perfect Feedback Loop

Title contender, crisis club or cash cow? What you see in United depends, largely, on what you want to see.

#english-premier-league, #internal-sub-only-nl, #liverpool-soccer-team, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer

In Newcastle, Songs Drown Out the Hard Questions

As long-suffering fans cheered the arrival of Saudi riches at their club, talk of the new owners’ plans and the current team’s flaws took the day off.

#english-premier-league, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #newcastle-united-soccer-team, #rumayyan-yasir-al, #soccer, #tottenham-hotspur-soccer-team

Soccer’s Problem With Silver Medals

It was notable when Spain’s players kept their runner-up awards after losing a final. It shouldn’t be.

#chelsea-soccer-team, #enrique-luis-1970, #internal-sub-only, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #mourinho-jose, #soccer

U.S. Rallies to Beat Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifier

Sergiño Dest scored one goal and set up another as the United States regained its stride with a dominant performance in World Cup qualifying.

#costa-rica, #soccer, #united-states

FIFA Without FIFA? EA Sports Weighs Reboot of Showcase Game

The end of a long and profitable relationship with soccer’s governing body would mean renaming one of the most popular video games of all time.

#computer-and-video-games, #electronic-arts-inc, #english-premier-league, #infantino-gianni, #international-federation-of-association-football-fifa, #soccer, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

In China’s Super League, Everyone Seems to Be Losing

Chinese teams once embraced ambition and overspending in a bold attempt to reshape their sport. Now they don’t even play games.

#china, #china-evergrande-group, #chinese-super-league, #finances, #guangzhou-evergrande-soccer-team, #international-federation-of-association-football-fifa, #jiangsu-suning-soccer-team, #politics-and-government, #shutdowns-institutional, #soccer

Panama 1, U.S. 0: First Loss for U.S. in World Cup Qualifying

A listless performance by a shuffled lineup in a defeat at Panama cost the Americans some valuable momentum.

#berhalter-gregg, #soccer, #united-states-mens-national-soccer-team, #world-cup-2022-soccer

The Hidden Gem of Sports Travel: USMNT Away

Hitting the road for a World Cup qualifier might be one of the most unsung fan experiences in U.S. sports. Expansion of the tournament might change it forever.

#confederation-of-north-central-american-and-caribbean-association-football-concacaf, #fans-persons, #soccer, #stadiums-and-arenas, #travel-and-vacations, #united-states-mens-national-soccer-team, #world-cup-soccer, #world-cup-2022-soccer

U.S. Soccer’s Top Women’s League Faces Down Abusers, Uncertainty

The players in the National Women’s Soccer League, tired of abuse and harassment, are speaking up and seizing power. But the way forward for the troubled league isn’t clear.

#metoo-movement, #baird-lisa-1961, #burke-richie-1962, #coaches-and-managers, #national-womens-soccer-league-us, #north-carolina-courage-soccer-team, #riley-paul-1963, #sexual-harassment, #soccer, #united-states

Major Obstacle Removed in Saudi Bid for Newcastle

The end of a piracy dispute involving the Premier League broadcaster beIN Sports could clear the way for a Saudi-led group to buy Newcastle United.

#bein-media-group, #english-premier-league, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #newcastle-united-soccer-team, #soccer

Saudi Arabia, Newcastle and Soccer’s Worship of Money

The sale of a Premier League team symbolizes a sport’s unashamed devotion to wealth above all else.

#english-premier-league, #khashoggi-jamal, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #mohammed-bin-salman-1985, #newcastle-united-soccer-team, #soccer