Let’s get one thing out of the way: these cats are young. They’re like kittens in that sense — feral, attack-minded, alley kittens. It’s easy to get hyped on talent at the FIFA U-20 World Cup because the game, at this age, so heavily favors attackers. The goals are beautiful, but they’re generally scored in acres of space and triggered by a breakdown in midfield or defense.
Italian football has a crisis on its hands and I’m not even sure they realize how serious it is. For the better part of a decade now, with the exception of Juventus, Italy’s Serie A has been in decline. League officials would like to blame the country’s aging stadiums or the lack of a lucrative television deal - and those are valid points - but the real issue is much more serious.
Italy does not have a football problem. Italy has a race problem.
Sulley Muntari, whose exceptional professional career has seen him play extensively for Udinese, Inter and AC Milan, was booked for reporting racial abuse from the stands and subsequently walked off the pitch in protest in Cagliari.
Sulley Muntari walks off pitch at Cagliari (playing for Pescara, Sunday) after yellow crd for reporting racist abusepic.twitter.com/tTtZLUQ7Ip
For those who religiously follow and catalogue all of the endless nonsense I churn out (you’re terrifying), you’ll remember that back in February (Jesus, what have I done these last two months) I got really into the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship. It was really cold and I was really sad so I turned to the carnival of sand, merriment and bangers that is beach soccer for respite. Plus it was all streamed on Facebook for free.
Soccer fans are the best fans in the world — unless they decide to actually disrupt the game.
An international friendly took place in Paris on Monday, March 27th between African rivals Senegal and the Ivory Coast. The match was cut short after fans invaded the pitch and confronted the players on the field. The group of spectators made their way into the stadium by climbing over security fences and running past guards.
Twenty-two-year-old striker Mohammed Anas went from hero to zero in a matter of moments this weekend, at least in the eyes of his wife. After scooping the Man of the Match award in a South African ABSA Premiership match, the forward from Ghana took a moment to thank those who’ve helped him achieve such a feat: his wife and his girlfriend.
Anas tries to recover, but the mistake has already been made and you can see the euphoria quickly turn to dread. He might’ve won an award, but he might’ve lost either his wife, his girlfriend or both.
Welcome to the Nigerian Premier League. This is Sikiru Olatunbosun, and he's just submitted his application for the Puskas Award. We think he's got a good shot.
This is a very good team goal. It is also a very good individual goal. It is just a very good goal and now if you'll excuse us we'll be over here watching it over and over and over again.
Guys ... this is Nigerian Premier League pic.twitter.com/dFnGx0VlJy
Christian Bassogog, the Cameroonian international who was just named the MVP of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations after helping his side to the title, has just completed a transfer from Denmark’s Aalborg BK to Henan Jianye in the Chinese Super League for a reported €6 million.
A stampede at a stadium in Angola has turned deadly, according to media reports.
BREAKING: Portuguese news agency Lusa says 17 people have been killed in a stampede at a football stadium in Angola.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 10, 2017
The FIFA rankings are a strange sort of beast, like Dr. Seuss’s Foo-Foo the Snoo. They don’t have any bearing on reality, and usually distort it, but they’re frequently referenced and even used as the framework to seed international competitions.
The latest FIFA World Rankings came out today and saw no changes in the top five.
FIFA World Rankings (2017)