England’s World Cup ’66 Triumph

England’s World Cup ’66 Triumph: ‘Glorious bang’ or Just another Saturday Afternoon? [1] Prelude “England … closed their World Cup with a glorious bang that obliterated memories of its grey, negative beginnings” – Hugh McIlvanney [2] It was supposed to be a weekend of collective euphoria, spawning a sense of national pride that brought together… Continue reading England’s World Cup ’66 Triumph

Behind the Spectacle: On Euro 2012

As Poland’s football team scored to go level with Russia at the Euro 2012 football championship finals, on Tuesday June 12th, President Bronislaw Komorowski, sporting the red and white scarf of the national side, leapt from his seat in joy. The stadium was a cauldron of nationalistic passion and emotion. To the president’s left, UEFA… Continue reading Behind the Spectacle: On Euro 2012

Blatter: FIFA’s Supreme Leader triumphs again

If a week is a long time in politics, 6 months is no time at all in the world of international football politics. FIFA president Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter was trained as a young man by timepiece giant Swiss Longines, pedigree watchmaker since 1842. He must have learned a lot about longevity in business and organisational… Continue reading Blatter: FIFA’s Supreme Leader triumphs again

Seb Coe’s Biggest Challenge

In mid-September 2006 Lord Coe, public supremo of the successful London 2012 Olympic bid, turned down the opportunity to become chairman of UK Athletics. Sport journalists had widely assumed that Coe would slot into this made-for-Seb post, after Dave Moorcroft’s resignation as the chief executive of UK Athletics in August. But Lord Coe had bigger… Continue reading Seb Coe’s Biggest Challenge

Football in the Last Ten Years

In 1998, Argentinean journalist Juana Libinsky published a series of articles on UK academics, including a feature in La Nación on my work on international sport culture and world football. In 2006, invited to publish her journalistic work in book form, she asked whether I would respond to some questions that would help her update… Continue reading Football in the Last Ten Years