By GEOFF LEE*
The Palestinian national soccer team, a source of pride for many, has been under attack by the Israeli state | AP Photo. Tara Todras-Whitehill
There is a unique situation in the Middle East: in that one country, Israel, is deliberately hindering another – Palestine – from playing football, and exhibits racism and discrimination against Palestinians within its own jurisdiction.
Due to this, Palestinians are demanding action which is perhaps slightly belated, but nonetheless, as urgent as ever. On 20 March 2015, the Palestinian Football Federation (PFA) submitted a motion for debate at the upcoming 28-29 May FIFA annual congress in Zurich. The motion calls for the suspension of the Israeli Football Federation (IFA) from FIFA until the following conditions are satisfied: Continue reading
It would have been an incredible finale regardless, but the sheer number of stories threaded through South Africa v New Zealand of the 2015 Cricket World Cup meant it became something very special. ANDY BULL in The Guardian on a brilliantly dramatic game
Sportsmanship: Morne Morkel of New Zealand congratulates Brendon McCullum of South Africa| Ross Setford/AP
BYE, SINGLE, FOUR, BYE, SIX
(March 24) – Ball one was on a length and landed just outside the line of leg stump. By Dale Steyn’s standards it was slow, and deliberately so. A little under 80mph. Dan Vettori hopped back and swung his bat. Played, missed, and ran anyway. He needed to get Grant Elliott on strike. The two of them had already agreed that with wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock standing so far back they would run regardless. And so they did. A bye, then, and New Zealand need 11 to win or 10 to tie. Do that, and they would go through to the final on the grounds that they’d a better record in the group stages. Continue reading
South Africa versus Colombia, May 27, 2010. According to reports from officials, this match was most likely fixed | Salymfayad/Flickr
“The fixers have, at times, gone into the offices and boardrooms of the top officials who organize the sport,” writes Declan Hill*, who uncovers how match-fixing on high level has taken place with the connivance of top-level soccer officials.
It was a symbolic game – South Africa versus Colombia, May 27, 2010. The game took place a few days before the World Cup, it was in the beautiful new stadium at Soccer City in Johannesburg. The South Africans before a raucous crowd of vuvuzela-totting fans won 2-1. The stadium, indeed the entire event, was a sign that a new South African was ready for the international stage. It seemed to show that this was a South Africa that had emerged from apartheid to become a prosperous, multi-cultural society. It was a wonderful day for sport and society.
The only problem was that the game was probably fixed. Continue reading
Francois Pienaar receives the Rugby World Cup from Nelson Mandela in 1995. (Getty Images)
THE INVOLVEMENT of the South African national rugby team, the Springboks, in international rugby is rife with controversy. In the 1960s, as international criticism of apartheid grew, the Springboks became increasingly isolated in the international arena as they were seen as representatives of the apartheid government. The 1976 All Blacks (New Zealand’s national rugby team) tour of South Africa, which occurred shortly after the Sharpeville Massacre, attracted strong international condemnation that resulted in 28 countries boycotting the 1976 Summer Olympics. Continue reading
By MIKE MARQUSEE, Hindustan Times, 10 April 2005
Now that Indo-Pak cricket competition seems to be settling into something like a natural rhythm, it’s time to address some of the outstanding domestic issues facing Indian cricket.
The recent judgment by the Madras High Court in the TV rights imbroglio was a an indictment not just of Jagmohan Dalmiya and the current BCCI office-holders, but of an elite which has dismally failed in its duties to the game and the hundreds of millions who follow it in this country.
The only parallel in cricket’s history is the similarly scathing judgment handed down by a court in London in 1979 in the Packer affair, when a British judge denounced the governors of English cricket as amateurish, arrogant, and irresponsible. Indian cricket lovers should note that one of the reasons for cricket’s eclipse in its native land was inept management by an unaccountable, self-perpetuating elite. Continue reading