Khlong Toei and Port FC

Klong Toei

Port FC’s 50th anniversary is something to celebrate in domestic Thai Football.

Thai businessmen frequently buy out and invest heavily in clubs with purchases often proceeding behaviour that would be most unwelcome in Europe; relocations, playing-colour-roulette and name changes. Why? A strong sense of classism, respect for seniority and a “Saving Face” culture characterise Thai society. Unlike Continue reading

Tribute to the Thai King

Ubon UMT shirt

This is the current kit of Ubon UMT United, the top team of Ubon Ratchathani in the Isan region of Eastern Thailand, currently playing in the Thai Premier League after achieving promotion last year. Note the solitary but thick black stripe on the left arm.

That is not just some cool asymmetrical design. That is a season-long tribute to the late King Abulyadej of Thailand.

Everywhere Continue reading

Casually Casual | Guangzhou Pt 2

Chinese football atmosphere

We left the first game in Guangzhou before the final whistle, missing the second goal. This is the price to pay for two games in one evening, I suppose. From the Tianhe Stadium, we dashed across town to get to the magnificent Yuexiu Mountain Stadium, home of Guangzhou R&F.

And what a stadium. Our ventures the day before had culminated in reaching the stadium whilst empty. Walking through the hilly Yuexiu park, this giant sky-blue Continue reading

Fighting Terrace Homogeneity

Brentford fans in Germany

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

We Are Canton | Guangzhou Pt 1

We Are Canton

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

The Future Football Superpower

USA tifo Costa Rica

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

Why do Germans Hate RB Leipzig so much?

Nein zu RB Leipzig Aufkleber

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

Al-Rasheed

Al-Rasheed Uday

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