The tram jerked round the corner and the colossal Olympic Stadium burst into view – a facility purposefully developed for the 2012 UEFA European Championship that The Economist estimated had cost the Ukrainian taxpayer an astonishing $13 billion. We hopped off the Soviet era tram just as a faint blast tapped our ear drums. Shrugging it off, we walked towards the front gates as another faint explosion rippled the air around us. More unusual was the comprehensive security force flanking the entrances – half the national guard seemed to have descended onto the Ukrainian National Stadium for a routine league Football match on a Sunday evening.
Current Ukrainian Premier League champions and former Europa League victors FC Shakhtar Donetsk is one of Ukraine’s leading Football clubs. The vivid black and orange colours that adorn their kits are perhaps appropriately symbolic of the dark and fiery political struggle that threatens the future of those living in the Eastern Donbas region that the club calls home, and possibly even the club itself.
Two oblasts comprise what is known as “The Donbas”; Luhansk and Donestk, names that Continue reading
Every Football blog is now going overdrive as our sport’s most prestigious competition kicks off today. We are sure that you already have your bets made, your annual leave days booked, your travel plans arranged and your fingers crossed. But we offer our own predictions as to how the tournament will unravel in ways that may not have crossed your mind before.
Welcome to From Boothferry To Germany‘s Alternative Weltmeisterschaft Continue reading
Many Football club names across Eurasia feature the moniker “Dynamo” or an alternative spelling thereof. These clubs share characteristics. Normally located in the respective country’s capital, their logos feature a common attractive “D” design and are usually among the most successful in each respective national league. SG Dynamo Dresden and BFC Dynamo of Germany are both exceptions, but we will return to them later.
These common characteristics are not accidental Continue reading
With the arrival of Leonid Slutsky at the KC this summer, we figured some of the Hull faithful may feel like going that extra mile during Football matches to make him feel at home. But how to make your stadium atmosphere legit Slav? If the Boothferry Boys, or anyone else for that matter, wants to be as Russian as possible this season, they just need to follow our easy 5 step guide to Slav it up. Spoiler alert; pyro not necessary Continue reading
You take your son down the Gunners. You wrap him up in 4 layers and the same red and yellow scarf you wore as a boy to protect him from the -10 degrees. Boris at the kiosk hands over the sunflower seeds, yesterday’s newspaper to sit on and vodka to suppress the bitter cold. Teenage gopniks catch your eye opposite the underpass, grimy faces squatting by a burnt out car. They spit in your direction, your hand tightens around your son’s.
This is Arsenal, but not as you know it Continue reading
From Russia With Love.