Ultra lifestyle Social Media pages such as “Ultras World” share images and stories from fanatics around the world, the best tifos and pyro shows spreading globally. But when these Social Media pages share images or stories from games in England, they tend to result in lists of comments criticising the modern English stadium atmospheres. “RIP England” and the like. Followers from Casablanca to Java are simply not seeing choreos, pyrotechnic use, custom flags and in-stadium clashes, what they believe characterise good atmosphere, in England. The simple conclusion is that England doesn’t have fanatics and atmosphere any more. FBTG openly acknowledges that English Continue reading
Guangzhou Evergrande at home to Chongqing Lifan was next on our CSL itinerary. Evergrande, the current dominant force in Chinese Football, were massive favourites at the Tianhe Stadium in the modern city centre (and won 2-0). Tickets purchased and in we went to explore and take photographs prior to the ground filling. We were next to the Ultra block, so we took the liberty of going beneath it to photograph the banners and sector flags with little opposition to do so. One banner caught our eye quickly; “WE Continue reading
In their masterpiece ‘Soccernomics’, Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski try to predict which nation will be the future dominant Football nation. They rank countries based on population size, success, GDP per capita and working-class population size; the metrics they believe contribute toward international success in the sport. Football’s low barriers to entry have made it thrive in cities and countries with large working-class populations. All you need is a ball to play. Thus, in theory, countries with larger blue-collar populations will produce better Footballers and are more likely to be successful.
Their prediction? Turkey. But there is one factor they didn’t take into account. Continue reading
You know the story. One of East Germany’s biggest “start-ups” now looks a challenger for the Bundesliga title, at time of writing. The story has drawn a different kind of foreign attention to the Bundesliga. Outsiders frequently acknowledge the excellency of the German Football experience, but now they are hearing more about the stark mainstream rejection of this story on behalf of fans. Why do Germans hate RB Leipzig so much? German society and culture play a big part. Continue reading
It can be easy to forget Iraq’s diversity. Shia, Sunnis, Christians, Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Working Class and Middle Class in a country that has suffered more than possibly any other in the past 40 years. Lines in the sand drawn by British officers around a century ago cut through historic communities and forced together ethnicities and peoples that Continue reading
So after only 78 days in charge of Hull City, Mike Phelan, former assistant manager to Mr Bruce before he quit in the summer, found his tenure of the club cut short yesterday evening. A press conference was called and we the exhiled Black and Amber Faithful woke to learn of the club’s search for a new manager this morning. I know what you’re thinking. Exactly what you want to happen when you’re at the foot of the table in the transfer window.
We are not going to question whether or not it was warranted. We are not going to Continue reading
Luis Suarez first really came to my attention at the 2010 World Cup. Prior to then he was just another name to me, but his conduct during the Quarter Final fixture of Uruguay vs Ghana added character to that name for the first time. That character during the game was consistent with a lot of the stories and scandals around the man thereafter in his career, both at club and international level. The Shameless Striker; no player makes the papers quite like Luis Suarez.
The game itself was truly enthralling. Ghana Continue reading
Teach the Texans. Let them know that they screwed up.
Football fans in countries with nascent Football leagues are very interesting to observe. A lack of existing customs and traditions means that fans can basically develop their Football culture from scratch. The behaviour among fans and people involved in the sport at this point therefore can be very telling about their culture and what they value. The USA’s Major League Soccer is a prime example of such a nascent league.
On the other side of the pond, European Football fans resent the very commercial nature of American sport. The franchise model of ownership and subsequent potential for immediate Continue reading