(December 15) – On 19 December 2009, Pep Guardiola stood and wept in the middle of Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The 38-year-old Barcelona manager clasped a hand across his face as his body gave way to huge, shoulder-heaving sobs. Zlatan Ibrahimović, the club’s towering Swedish striker, wrapped a tattooed arm around Guardiola’s neck and then gave him a vigorous push in order to jolt him out of it. But Guardiola could not stop. Continue reading
Tag Archives: FC Barcelona
On June 21st, 1964, an ecstatic crowd of 120,000, awash in a sea of red and yellow, cheered and applauded Generalissimo Francisco Franco as he stood up to leave the Madrid summer evening gathering. This was no mass rally of political affirmation that the dictator was leaving, but a football match. Spain had just beaten the Soviet Union in the Final of the European Nations’ Cup; so much more than just a football victory: a triumph for international co-operation over Cold War hostility, but, conversely, perhaps also a triumph over the old Red enemies of the Civil War.
Written by Bayern Central (May 13) – FC Bayern München fought in its Champions League semi return leg against Barcelona but its attempt at a comeback was destroyed by a high defensive line. A detailed look at how it unfolded.
The fight against illegal trafficking of young African footballers: some of Europe’s richest football clubs have been implicated. It is a fight that is far from over – and one that FIFA recently brought to light through the sanctioning of FC Barcelona and the club’s exploitation of young players.
By Marie Louise Albers, Paris/Genève
The phone vibrates in his breast pocket. Again. It is the fourth time in the last half hour, and this time Jean-Claude Mbvoumin feels compelled to answer. He apologizes, pulls the chair slightly away from the little coffee table where we sit, and lifts the phone to his ear.
“It is Jean-Claude,” he says in French, while a concerned father from Guinea identifies himself at the other end of the line. The Guinean man recently sent his son to a try-out in Europe, but now the father has not had contact with his son for several days, and he does not know where in Europe his son is. Jean-Claude promises to look into it and asks him to call back later. Continue reading
UPDATED: FIFA has punished FC Barcelona for trading children. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. The trade of minors is standard practice in European football – and has been for years. Now, for the first time since the sanctions against the Spanish club were issued, FIFA responds to enquiries regarding the case.
Updated 23 April 2014, first edition published 9 April 2014:
The so-called globalization of sports by big monopolies and the sports cartels (leagues, associations) has self-serving aims. Along with striving for domination of the global market, including control over human talent, these include the justification of the unjustifiable, from the racist and fascist South African regime in the 1970s and 1980s to Zionist Israel and the Bahrein and Emirate dictatorships today. Israel’s increasing integration into European competitions, despite its refusal to revive peace talks with the Palestinians, its violation of human rights and its illegal occupation of Historic Palestine, including illegal settlements in the West Bank, is contrary to the highest ideals of amateur sport. It should be met with international opposition of the kind faced by apartheid South Africa, writes JONATHAN COOK* from Nazareth – though not at the expense of the struggle of the Palestinian people themselves for their inalienable rights. – Tony Seed
[April 25, 2013] A DOZEN Palestinian teenagers from the West Bank village of Bilin stride forth in FC Barcelona jerseys, looking no different from thousands of other fans of one of the world’s leading football clubs. But moments later, in the shadow of the oppressive concrete wall, the group remove their shirts and drape them over razor wire the Israeli army has uncoiled around the village. The youngsters then set fire to the jerseys.
This protest, captured earlier this month on a YouTube video, is one of many by Palestinians and their international supporters as they step up their opposition to Israel’s increasing integration into world football, at a cost, say Palestinians, to their own sporting ambitions. Continue reading