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Showing posts from June, 2011

A League of their own

With the sixth FIFA Women's World Cup soon to get underway in Germany, it's a good time to take a look at how integrated the world game really is.

While much has been done in areas of racial equality and in getting poorer kids involved in the game, the great divide between men and women players remains.

This is puzzling as soccer is a game that in theory could be played by both sexes, equally, in mixed teams.

However, its not so surprising given the misogynistic attitudes of high-up administrators, from Sepp Blatter down (including many top players, media and supporters), cultural obstacles to women playing sport in general and the more physical nature of the modern professional men's game.

But, as anyone who has seen top level women's football, the decrease in overt physicality and speed is more than compensated by the greater flow and by the diminished presence of win-at-costs attitude. The bravado and macho cuture of the men's game is shown up as empty posin…

FIFA's other struggles

Even as FIFA proves it can't hold its Blatter, other issues pertaining to its role as the global rule maker on a multitude of football competitions continue to bubble.

Kick Project doesnt have a view on veils as such, seeing it as a complex and essentially individual choice. We do feel that everyone has the right to wear what they want and to worship how they want - as long as it doesnt endanger or enrage others.

So, it is difficult to see a good justification for this FIFA decision.

We are aware of course of debates on this issue and state decisions in, for instance, France. And I am, co-incidentally, reading Orhan Pamuk's "Snow" which investigates the issue of veils and the issue of secularism versus religious fundamentalism.

Yet, do we need such debates in the world game right now? Is this FIFA's role? Seems like we're bleeding into moral and cultural decisions now and I am not sure we can allow FIFA, especially given its current travails, the trust to…

Vid on FIFA corruption

This was sent in response to my post yesterday on FIFA and how we might democratise the organisation.

Looks like a promo for a longer documentary, but not sure.

Anyway, its nice work and asks some vital questions, which remain - crucially - unanswered.

Check it out.

FIFA rewrite needed, but who holds the pen?

With so much ado about FIFA's risible descent into farce, there's a lot of accusations and blame being thrown around.

While it's fair to say FIFA and its head-honchos have stuffed up big time, many are also casting a jaundiced eye over those who have dipped into the FIFA trough and who would likely benefit from the status quo. Among them are the 180 or so national football associations who failed to join the English FA and others standing for ethics and call for a cessation of the entire voting process - including for the latest World Cup votes - pending a complete review of the corruption allegations (although the FA, to be fair, has a vested interest in having a recount on the World Cup bid as it may have a chance of winning it this time).

Among them, I'm sorry to say, is the Australian FFA, rightly lambasted by former player and now commentator Craig Fozzie Foster in the local Australian press (and on his TV spots) on the weekend for falling into line and disgrac…

FIFA's solid gold balls

This very good piece from the BBC is a great backgrounder to FIFA's current traipse through the mud of its own making. Highly recommended listening for football fans everywhere.

As a not for profit in football, not unlike FIFA in some aspects at its founding, we at The Kick Project are very wary that becoming too tethered to sponsorships and revenue streams can damage our culture irrevocably, as well as, ultimately, that of our sponsors. It serves no longer term purpose of any positive nature.

Easy (and appropriate) to be critical of those involved, but let's take the moment for what it is: an opportunity to learn from past mistakes. Lessons for us all here I think.