Originally constructed in bonnie Newcastle in 1915, the HMS Malaya had been of service both in World War I and II in places as varied as Denmark, Anatolia, Malta, Genoa, Cape Verde and the Caribbean. She gallantly ended her service as target bouncing bomb practice in Loch Striven in Scotland in 1944, but where Football is concerned, the HMS Malaya made her most important trip in 1921 – to the land after which she was named. Continue reading
For part I of Sunnis, Sukarno and Soccer, please click here.
It is easy to make the mental leap that Indonesia is “more Muslim” than its sibling Malaysia is. But if that is the case, why are Koranic prayers read at before Football matches in Malaysia and not in Indonesia? The answer perhaps lies in the path to independence of both modern nation states.
It is something of a sour point to the Chinese and Indian Malaysians that Islam, a faith that is entirely foreign to them, has been chosen as their state religion. Yet in a country where ethnicity is a factor that influences your legal rights and civil status, the Chinese and Indian Malaysians are somewhat used to playing second fiddle.
The British shipped their ancestors into their Southeast Asian territories in Continue reading
A gruff voice boomed across the ground, magnified to ensure absolute clarity. The chatter of noise from the terraces abruptly stopped, all spectators shuffled to their feet. Way down below I was already on mine, but to my left I noticed a handful of young men in one of the media boxes end their conversation and put their smartphones away in haste, before bowing their heads. The exact message of the announcement was lost on me, but I Continue reading
For Part I of “Nonidentical Twins”, please click here.
At the height of Moorish rule in Spain, their capital city was not Granada, but Cordoba. Cordoba was an established but weathered Roman settlement on the banks of the Guadalquivir River at the foothills of the Sierra Morena. Its strategic location offered three major advantages for Continue reading
The ethnic Han account for approximately 92% of the population of the People’s Republic of China. A couple hundred other ethnic groups are formally recognised by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), though possibly thousands more exist unofficially within the world’s most populous country. In his book “The Emperor Far Away”, author David Eimer literally and figuratively explores four geographic regions of China where the Han Chinese are outnumbered by their reluctant compatriots, and his work directly inspired this article.
The picture he paints is bleak. While the Han Continue reading
The international breaks are usually moments in the Football calendar that bore the FBTG crew, partly because the fixtures are seldom particularly competitive, and partly because we’re not really patriotic folk. But the past 7 days have been interesting for a number of reasons. Sergio Ramos became the most-capped Spaniard to play for the national team EVER. Scotland emphatically got themselves back on track by firing 6 past San Marino. And another mouth-wateringly high score was overshadowed in Sofia, as members of the Continue reading
On the 28th of April, the majority of 47 million people go to the polls in Europe’s next major parliamentary election. After major votes in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy, it is the turn of Spain, a country that is possibly more politically divided than any other in 21st century Europe.
While a victory for the PSOE is likely, the right is expected to Continue reading
Many comment on the decline of Serie A as an exhibition of the highest quality Football on the planet in the past two decades, but far fewer seem to correctly observe the fact that the Italian Football culture has been undoubtedly one of the most influential in the 20th century. Fanatics and Ultras from Lombardy to Sicily were the first to incorporate choreographies and tifos into the typical game day on a large scale, and this Continue reading