An excerpt from the 1995 book “Soccer in Sun and Shadow.” EDUARDO GALEANO
FIFA, who has its throne and holds court in Zurich, the International Olympic Committee, which rules from Lausanne, and the ISL Marketing company, who conducts its business from Lucerne, manages the World Cup and the Olympics. As we can tell, these three powerful organizations maintain their head offices in Switzerland, a country made famous due to William Tell’s marksmanship, the precision of its watches, and religious devotion to bank secrecy. Coincidentally, all three hold an extraordinary degree of shame when it comes to the money that passes through their hands, and the money that remains in their hands. Continue reading
He was butterfly and bee. In the ring, he floated and stung.
In 1967, Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, refused to put on a uniform.
“Got nothing against no Viet Cong,” he said. “Ain’t no Vietnamese ever called me nigger.”
They called him a traitor. They sentenced him to a five-year jail term, and barred him from boxing. They stripped him of his title as champion of the world.
The punishment became his trophy. By taking away his crown, they anointed him king.
Years later, a few college students asked him to recite something. And for them he improvised the shortest poem in world literature:
From Mirrors (Nation Books, 2009), a history of humanity in 366 episodes
Choreographed war and other aspects of the world’s greatest game
“Some people think that football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.” – Bill Shankley, legendary Liverpool manager
By Eduardo Galeano*
[The following passages are excerpted at TomDispatch from Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow (Nation Books, Open Road Mediaebooks).]
Have you ever entered an empty stadium? Try it. Stand in the middle of the field and listen. There is nothing less empty than an empty stadium. There is nothing less mute than stands bereft of spectators. Continue reading
[Introduction from TomDispatch] Over the next few weeks, we will see all that is beautiful and all that is damned in soccer at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Hundreds of millions will swoon at the sight of the gods of the global game — Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, Italy’s Andrea Pirlo, England’s Wayne Rooney — plying their exquisite trade across the newly built or expensively refurbished stadiums on which Brazil, according to the Wall Street Journal, has spent $3.6 billion over the last few years. Continue reading