View Full Version : Soccer - aka Football

June 16th, 2014, 09:27 AM
Over half the population of the planet is expected to watch at least part of the ongoing World Cup. The lack of a World Cup or basic soccer thread on the forum speaks volumes about the state of the sport in this country.

June 16th, 2014, 10:34 AM
Maybe all those people should pay some attention to one of the most corrupt sports organizations on the planet:




Wobert Wedford
June 16th, 2014, 01:14 PM
FIFA is totally corrupt, the Sunday Times has been doing some very penetrating investigative journalism on it over the past 5 weeks - worth reading but it makes you very cynical about the whole set-up!

June 16th, 2014, 01:31 PM
It took an investigative journalist to figure this out? What a scoop for the British media! What's next - an exclusive report on North Korean hereditary nepotism?

June 17th, 2014, 12:41 PM
What a fantastic game last night. The US fighting for every inch and literally broken and bloodied for the cause. Great spectacle.

Wobert Wedford
June 17th, 2014, 03:16 PM
It took an investigative journalist to figure this out? What a scoop for the British media! What's next - an exclusive report on North Korean hereditary nepotism?
Of course you had the evidence yet were unwilling or unable to do anything with it! Like so many smart a**es.

June 24th, 2014, 11:45 AM
What a fantastic game last night. The US fighting for every inch and literally broken and bloodied for the cause. Great spectacle.

Going into Sunday's game, I would have happily settled for a tie with Portugal, but the end of the game broke my heart. Amazing strike by Ronaldo, set up by a bad turnover. Still the US is alive and in decent shape at this point, which is more than most would have thought coming into he tournement.

July 9th, 2014, 08:10 PM
Maybe all those people should pay some attention to one of the most corrupt sports organizations on the planet:I think most football fans hate the FIFA as much as they love the game. It's two different things. I also love the Olympics, I even went for a 29 hour trip to London just to catch some of the atmosphere, but is the IOC anything better than FIFA? I did love Formula 1 before they really ruined the sport itself, but behind it is not even a corrupt organization, but nothing less than Bernie's little dictatorship.

But back to the world cup, despite everything wrong with the FIFA, so far this has been one of the most attractive tournaments in decades. But right now everything just sucks :mad:
(Yes, we just lost the semi-final. Guess it saves us from the disgrace of a fourth lost final...)

July 9th, 2014, 08:38 PM
I guess I was a little vague about the whole thing.

The US is sports saturated. Not too many countries have so many primary sports that get a lot of attention - from fans and the media. I love sports, but sometimes all the hoopla, which seems to get worse every year, gets overbearing.

I sort of like where soccer (or football) is right now in the US. Lots of school kids play it; less follow it as adults. The last two world cups have generated plenty of interest here, especially the current one. Next year, not as many people will follow.

I don't think I'd want FIFA to try to cash in on the huge US market, and whip up embarrassing nationalism. I was already a little uneasy about beating up on little Belgium. Good for us to be underdogs once in a while.

July 10th, 2014, 06:37 PM
Okay, that way I can understand. I was wondering, has anything substantially changed since the '94 world cup? Or is it just a short lived hype every once in a while?

But indeed the situation in the US is quite different from Europe. Here it's football (sorry, I refuse to use the word "soccer" when there's a perfect English name for the game, only because that's abused for some other game that hardly involves the use of feet for anything else than just walking) above all, and everything else at a huge distance. Specifically here in the Netherlands, probably only ice speed skating comes close during the winter months (we even can make fun of the US (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101431838) once every few years), but that's really it. The NFL has tried to make American football popular here in Europe, in the Netherlands it actually has been the second sport when it comes to the number of spectators for a few years. Even when that was mainly because they gave away tens of thousands of tickets for free, it does say something about other sports. We've been the 2011 world champions at baseball (not that anyone watched the final), but even the biggest baseball stadium in the country has only 2760 seats, most others (far) less than 1000, that's how popular it is. We've been among the world's best at hockey (on grass, not ice. Somehow we're not good at combining those two talents) for decades, and it is probably the 2nd most popular sport when based on the number of participants, but on a commercial level it's far behind football.

I guess it's just very hard, if not impossible to really popularize any "alien" sport anywhere in the world. In two weeks I'll be visiting Japan again, I intend to attend both a baseball (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles vs. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters) and a football match (Consadole Sapporo vs. Yokohama FC). Despite the rise of popularity of football because of the 2002 world cup, I think I already know which one will be the thoughest to get tickets for. Sport isn't just about what's happening now, it's at least as much about history and its heroes. Yesterday we lost from Argentina actually only for the second time in history, but we're all still traumatized by that one other lost match, the world cup final in 1978. I would say in the US baseball is closest to football in that respect, as a sport that's all about history. Even here in the Netherlands, where most people hardly know anything about baseball (don't ask about even one single name of the 2011 world champions team), most sports fans do know Babe Ruth, and maybe even Joe DiMaggio. Sport without much interesting national history or real heroes just doesn't work, at least not for a big audience. So I guess unless the US makes it to the finals of the next World cup, you're probably safe for any bad influences of Sepp Blatter and friends ;)

July 14th, 2014, 08:16 AM
Great cup. Right result in the end.

July 14th, 2014, 09:37 AM
Okay, that way I can understand. I was wondering, has anything substantially changed since the '94 world cup? Or is it just a short lived hype every once in a while?Except for media coverage, it's changed a lot. Many more people play; there are leagues at the ballfields in my neighborhood. There are also more "sports bars" that cater to fans.

At least in New York, where you can find almost anything. When I was a boy living near Marine Park, Cricket matches - mostly Caribbean players - were held on Sundays. It was a curiosity that now seems to have taken off in Brooklyn. (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130513/brooklyn-heights/cricket-catches-on-brooklyn)

Here it's football (sorry, I refuse to use the word "soccer" when there's a perfect English name for the game, only because that's abused for some other game that hardly involves the use of feet for anything else than just walking)Isn't there a place outside the US called Soccer City?

July 15th, 2014, 01:59 PM
Great cup. Right result in the end.

Well deserved win by Germany; they pass with surgeon-like precision -wow. Great World Cup indeed! Even though it is the first sport I followed it is no longer my favorite to play and reguarly follow (basketball); however it is my favorite in the passion it brings out in folks all around the Earth. The stands relentlessly cheering throughout is really fun to listen to throughout the game. Goals and great goalie saves are infact sporadic, rare (which kinda makes them more precious) but when they come it is quite exhilirating, especially when you are participating/celebrating in the exhaltation (going to soccer games is sooo much fun; Seattle Sounders are the ones who do it best in the US). But the best part of the World Cup is how it not only accrues the great soccer talents into one tournament playing what is for all intents an purposes based on its popularity the "world sport" and the patriotism that imbues them to be at their very best (except Brazil's defenders last Tuesday :rolleyes:); which brings me to the second best thing about the Event which listening and watching the players and their compatriots in the stands belt out their National Anthems with such vigor. Great stuff.

July 18th, 2014, 01:48 PM
Just to give the patriotism some context listen to some of the play-by-play by different countries. I can't understand a ****ing word they are saying but the raw emotions is pretty monolingual... :)

Germany's Final's goal

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_spot/2014/07/09/_bergkamp_bergkamp_argentina_vs_netherlands_and_th e_greatest_call_in_world.html

Colombia (declared best goal of the 2014 World Cup)

Its like one Howie Rose (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ziarOEosIc) moment after the other... :D

And the announcers do take it quite seriously:

A Chorus of ‘Goooooool,’ the Siren Song of Soccer

By FERNANDA SANTOS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/fernanda_santos/index.html)
JUNE 19, 2014


José Carlos Araújo begins his "Goal" cry with a pause, which, he conceded, is really an opportunity to fill his lungs with air. Credit Marizilda Cruppe for The New York Times
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RIO DE JANEIRO — Having caught his first big break on radio 50 years ago, José Carlos Araújo, who had honed his sportscasting skills by calling button soccer games in a neighbor’s backyard, figured he would have to tame his changing voice to avoid losing his pitch halfway through the effusively long cries of “goooooool” that are the hallmark and necessity of a Brazilian play-by-play announcer’s routine.

One colleague, a veteran of the airwaves, suggested he take up smoking. But Araújo, 17 at the time, had another idea: He hired a woman who taught German through music on national public radio to teach him how to sing.
“When it comes to narrating a goal in soccer,” said Araújo, of Rádio Transamérica, one of the grandfathers of sports radio broadcasting here, “there’s a big dose of artistry involved.”
Among play-by-play announcers in Brazil, the cry of “goooooool” is the exclamation point that punctuates a story’s heart-thumping passage, the announcer’s voice rising and falling harmoniously and continuously whenever any team scores. If turned into a drawing, it would look like an arch. If it were a person, it would be the biggest guy in the room.

Galvăo Bueno, one of the best-known working sportscasters in Brazil, compared announcers' exclamations after a goal to “a tenor’s high C." Credit Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times Fans scream goal; announcers swear that they sing it. Galvăo Bueno, one of the best-known working sportscasters in Brazil, compared it to “a tenor’s high C,” one of the most challenging notes the tenor’s voice can carry.
“It’s your crowning achievement,” said Bueno, who is working his 10th World Cup narrating the games, mostly for Rede Globo, Brazil’s largest television network. “Or your moment of defeat.”
It is also a marker in the history of sports broadcasting in Brazil — and its most enduring and endearing feature. In 1946, 14 years after the first soccer game was broadcast live on Brazilian radio, Rebello Júnior, an announcer at Săo Paulo’s old Rádio Difusora, stretched his call of “gol” on the air until he was almost out of breath, legitimizing the celebratory scream bellowed by fans in the stands and amplifying it to the world. It was all in an effort at differentiation: If everyone else was talking, why not shout?
In a trilogy chronicling the history of World Cups past, Max Gehringer, a businessman turned business columnist, wrote that in 1958 in Sweden, people in the stands turned to the booth occupied by the Brazilian sportscaster Edson Leite, of Rádio Bandeirantes, every time the ball hit the net, just to watch his performance.

(http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/19/sports/worldcup/goooooooooooooal.html)The elongated “goooooool” call has since been adopted in Spain, Germany (where “goal” is replaced by “tor,” or rather, “Tooooooor!”) and all over Latin America, as well as among Spanish-language broadcasters in the United States. In 2008, as an experiment, Luis Roberto, a sportscaster for Globo, cried “gol” only for the local team, Botafogo, when it played in the quarterfinals of the Libertadores Cup against Club Estudiantes de La Plata of Argentina.

“It was a disaster,” said Roberto, who has been narrating soccer games on television and radio since 1977. “Even people who rooted for Botafogo were screaming at me, accusing me of being disrespectful because I only acknowledged the goals scored by one team.”
Soccer broadcasting has evolved over time; sideline reporters give narrators in the booth fast information about elemental aspects of the game, like who scored or who is stepping in to replace the player who was hurt. Regional differences in pace and style have also taken hold. In Săo Paulo, narrators sound more like horse racing announcers, employing a pattern known as metralhadora, or machine gun. In Rio, the rhythm is decidedly less frantic. Still, the “gol” cry has persisted, though Brazilian announcers have adorned it, hoping that theirs is the one that stands out.
Araújo’s is preceded by “entrou” — Portuguese for “it’s in” — and a pause, which, he conceded, is really an opportunity to fill his lungs with air. Edson Mauro (formerly Edson Pereira de Melo), a renowned radio announcer for Rádio Globo, says “bingo” before he cries out “gol,” a word he chose after spending a night hearing it at a bingo hall in Madrid on a day off from covering the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

Edson Mauro, a renowned radio announcer for Rádio Globo, says “bingo” before he cries out “goal." Credit Marizilda Cruppe for The New York Times
Once an anomaly, the skill has since become a requirement. Among sportscasters, the verdict is unanimous: There is no future in sports radio for announcers who do not know how to bellow an impressive, long and loud cry of “gol.” So they work at it daily, in much the same way that classical singers do before a big performance.
Mauro is one of those who hum, buzz and make raspberry sounds, quivering his lips to loosen them up. Bueno eats apples to moisten his throat hours before he narrates a game. Araújo, a septuagenarian who goes by Garotinho, or little boy, does not drink whiskey to avoid “changing the chemical balance of my vocal cords,” he said.

“On days I’m narrating, I don’t drink coffee,” Alex Escobar said. “And the day before, I don’t drink alcohol.” Credit Marizilda Cruppe for The New York Times Roberto relies on a phonoaudiologist to help him pull his voice out of his diaphragm so his goal cries will not fail. His colleague Alex Escobar, who is narrating his first World Cup, thinks phonoaudiology sessions are “kind of silly” and resorts, instead, to simple tricks he learned fronting a band that played the wedding circuit in the 1990s.
“On days I’m narrating, I don’t drink coffee,” Escobar said. “And the day before, I don’t drink alcohol.”
They all agree that sleeping is key, although that is sometimes hard to do. Bueno has been following the Brazilian national team from Goiânia, the site of its first friendly game, to the site of each of its matches during the tournament, by car and by plane. Gabriel Andrezo, a rookie announcer for the website FutRio, whose focus is on narrating games played by Rio’s teams, sometimes has to ride the train back from a stadium deep in the city’s outskirts, getting home long past midnight and getting up early in the morning to write and post an article, before lunchtime, about the game he called.

Physiological reactions can get in the way of announcing. Gabriel Andrezo, a rookie announcer for the website FutRio, was once overcome by a coughing fit. Failure happens, and physiological reactions get in the way. Andrezo was once overcome by a coughing fit. Araújo could not get rid of hiccups. Roberto, after finishing a grueling work schedule at the 1998 World Cup in France, heard his voice falter as he cried “goal” when Vasco da Gama, a team from Rio, scored against River Plate of Argentina in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores.
“I sounded like Tarzan,” he said.



July 25th, 2014, 10:29 AM
Can I request that the title of this thread be changed to "Association Football a.k.a. Soccer"?

May 27th, 2015, 09:42 PM
There are a lot of FIFA stories today, all across the globe.

I think this one cuts to the bone:

The human toll of FIFA’s corruption

By Christopher Ingraham May 27

A rendition of a planned World Cup stadium in Qatar. (AP Photo/Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy)

In the end, it only took a $150 million scandal (https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/us-indicts-world-soccer-officials-in-alleged-150-million-fifa-bribery-scandal/2015/05/27/4630ccaa-0477-11e5-bc72-f3e16bf50bb6_story.html?hpid=z1) to make Americans care about soccer.

FIFA, the notoriously corrupt (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/05/27/how-fifa-became-the-worlds-most-powerful-and-loathed-sports-organization/?hpid=z2) and yet seemingly invincible (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2015/05/27/sepp-blatter-escapes-fifa-scandal-again/?hpid=z2) governing body of world soccer, has finally landed itself an indictment that some would say is worthy of its reputation. The charges against a handful of senior FIFA officials include money laundering, racketeering, bribery and fraud. In short, the federal lawsuit alleges what millions of soccer fans have suspected all along: that FIFA officials have been using the organization's massive influence to line their pocketbooks.

On the surface, it's just another white collar crime story: rich, powerful men making themselves richer and more powerful. But a closer look suggests that there is a lot of real-world suffering and misery happening as a direct result of FIFA executive malfeasance.

For the most obvious example of this, look to Qatar. The decision to award the 2022 World Cup to the rich Gulf state with a terrible human rights record was a controversial one right out of the gate (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102708937). There have been extensive allegations of bribery (http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jun/15/qatar-world-cup-bid-2022): why else, some figured, award the Cup to a tiny country with sweltering summer heat and no soccer culture to speak of (http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jun/01/2022-world-cup-qatar-fifa)?

Human rights advocates' worst fears about Qatar seemed to be confirmed as Qatar began building the infrastructure to host the Cup, and reports of migrant worker deaths started to pile up. The numbers, to the extent that we know them, appear startling: A Guardian investigation last year (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/23/qatar-nepal-workers-world-cup-2022-death-toll-doha) revealed that Nepalese migrant workers were dying at a rate of one every two days. In sum, the Guardian put the total Qatar death toll of workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh (http://www.theguardian.com/world/bangladesh) at 964 in 2012 and 2013.

It is hard to know how many of those are specifically World Cup associated. Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers come to Qatar each year, and there could be hundreds of deaths even without a World Cup. But the numbers could also be worse: a report by the International Trade Union Confederation (http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/the_case_against_qatar_en_web170314.pdf) has estimated 1,200 deaths so far, with more on their way.

In the chart below, I've compared those fatality numbers for Qatar with worker fatality estimates for other major international sporting events in recent years.


Some of these numbers (like Sochi's) are third-party estimates, others (like Beijing's) are based on official numbers that are almost certainly an undercount. And it's tough to do an apples-to-apples comparison here, since the Qatar estimates include the deaths of all migrant workers after the announcement of Qatar's successful bid in 2010, while other countries' figures may only include deaths directly related to, say, stadium construction.

But if current trends continue, the ITUC estimates that 4,000 workers will die in Qatar by the time the World Cup is actually held in 2022.

Qatar officials have previously pledged to address worker safety concerns. “We believe that the people helping us build our country deserve to be fairly paid, humanely treated and protected against exploitation,” the country's labor ministry told the Guardian. “That is why we are reforming our labour laws and practices.

Still, it's clear that Qatar is in a league of its own when it comes to poor worker safety. Conditions for migrant workers there are so bad that the International Trade Union Confederation has called the state (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/04/15/staggering-number-of-workers-die-as-qatar-prepares-for-world-cup/) "a country without a conscience." Many of the abuses of migrant workers in Qatar and other Gulf countries are related to a governing system called "kafala (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8035972.stm)," which dictates how migrant workers may enter the country. The system has been criticized for essentially placing workers under the complete control of their employers and leaving the door wide open for exploitation and abuse (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/apr/25/un-qatar-abolish-kafala-migrant-worker-system).

In the light of the new Justice Department investigation, Swiss authorities are announcing a new inquiry into the process that gave Qatar the cup in 2010. But as the families of 1,200 dead workers can attest, in many ways the damage has already been done. If FIFA board members did indeed accept bribes from Qatar to let it host the 2022 cup, it would show how backroom corruption can have widespread and fatal consequences.

© 1996-2015 The Washington Post

June 1st, 2015, 05:59 AM
Ok, so that's much worse than I had imagined. Earlier this week, after hearing some about the recent scandals, I was telling someone that football must be the corrupt sport on the planet -- "just as bad as Taiwan baseball." But I have never heard of baseball-related deaths in Taiwan; the gangsters have ruined the sport beyond redemption, but everyone lives to tell their tales.

Amateur football/soccer is wonderful fun. The pro stuff is completely revolting.