Football (Soccer) Culture

Roy Hodgson in plea for calm as England take on Ireland at Wembley

England manager Roy Hodgson. Photo: AFP

The match at Wembley Stadium will celebrate the 150th anniversary of England's Football Association and will be the first time the neighbours have met since the 1995 match in Dublin, which was abandoned when English fans rioted.

Wednesday, 29 May, 2013, 5:46am

Parties vie to control Indonesian soccer, seeing it as key to election victory

Supporters light flares at a match in March. No political party can draw such a big, devoted crowd, a soccer official says. Photo: Reuters

More than 60,000 people packed into Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on a recent Saturday night to see the national soccer team play. Another 100 million tuned in to television to watch the match, underlining the appeal of soccer in Indonesia where attendance rivals the top English and German soccer leagues.

25 May 2013 - 2:42am

Humble coin toss will confound fight against football graft

Humble coin toss a match-fixer's dream. Photo: Reuters

How much is a coin toss worth? Can foolishly faking a frivolous flip and flick of a thin metallic disc prove financially tempting? You bet. Five years ago, the going rate was 100,000 yuan (HK$124,000).

1 Mar 2013 - 4:53am

Abuse of soccer officials needs to end

Palace boss Ian Holloway

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway was clear last week about his intimidatory, insensitive and inappropriate intentions towards match officials. Hostile treatment towards match officials inevitably spreads to all levels where ticking time bombs are effectively being seeded.

22 Feb 2013 - 4:17am

Oldham told to keep their shirts on

Oldham's Matt Smith celebrates his equaliser. Photo: Reuters

Oldham banned their players from swapping shirts with Everton's stars after their dramatic 2-2 draw in the FA Cup fifth round as the cash-strapped League One club try to cut costs.

18 Feb 2013 - 3:15am

Youngsters suffer burnout in quest for perfection, study says

Researchers from the University of Leeds found that some school-age footballers were showing signs of chronic stress, exhaustion and disillusion with the sport given the demands for perfection from coaches, parents and teammates.

31 Jan 2013 - 4:26am

Pandora's Box to remain ajar without consistency

Referee Mike Dean (1st left) shows Manchester City's Vincent Kompany (1st right) a red card for his tackle of Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (3rd left). Photo: Xinhua

Unforeseen troubles for referees lie ahead because of the FA's decision to rescind Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany's red card for what match referee Mike Dean deemed to be serious foul play. In undermining his interpretation, the FA has opened Pandora's Box.

25 Jan 2013 - 3:13am

Wenger appoints German debt collector at Arsenal

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Reuters

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed his faith in German economic efficiency by saying it was the reason why defender Per Mertesacker had become the club's debt collector.

24 Jan 2013 - 3:09am

Flare incident at Bundesliga match renews security debate in Germany

Joachim Loew, head coach of the German national football team. Photo: AFP

After hooligans forced a Bundesliga game to be delayed by throwing lit flares at the weekend, Germany coach Joachim Loew is leading the call for tighter security measures in stadiums.

Last Saturday, hooligans in the Eintracht Frankfurt fan block forced their team's 3-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen to be delayed by six minutes after lighting flares and setting off fireworks.

24 Jan 2013 - 3:09am

English Premier League pandering to namby pambyism

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (1st right) was shown a red card for a tackle on Jack Wilshere (3rd left) of Arsenal. Photo: Xinhua

Of all the things we fans enjoy when watching soccer, now is the time to count the number of tackles and savour them.

19 Jan 2013 - 5:20am

Playing a blinder against the bigots

The debate over nationalism, racism and football hooliganism, the touchpaper topics overshadowing the Euros, sizzled at Camp Wok before the much anticipated opening match in Warsaw. This wooded, gentrified camping site which serves as the SCMP HQ has now been invaded by Polish, German and English-cum-Irish-cum-Scottish fans - 11 in total.

9 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Harsh measures vital to stop rioters

The opening of a new English Premier League season today will thrill football followers around the globe, not least in Hong Kong. British authorities will also be hoping that the distraction will help defuse the mob psychology behind the worst rioting England has seen for decades.

13 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Pitch invaders to be arrested at the Sevens

His antics may have sent revellers wild at last year's Hong Kong Sevens, but the man who led security staff a merry dance when he climbed the goalposts at the Hong Kong Stadium has forced organisers to get tough on people who invade the pitch this year.

25 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Michael Church In South Africa

Sandton's neon lights are ablaze barely a kilometre from Innisfree Park, the green glow from Johannesburg's glitziest and wealthiest district illuminating the sky above. Below is Nelson Mandela Square, where well-heeled South Africans and foreign visitors congregate to create a cultural melting pot beneath the eponymous statue at the centre of the plaza.

18 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

Fascism stalks Italy's stadiums

After a difficult victory against Scotland last week at Hampden Park stadium in Glasgow, Italy's footballers qualified to take part in the 2008 European Championships.

2 Dec 2007 - 12:00am