sport

It’s been barely noticed, but last month there was an incursion of politics into sports like no other, writes Dave Zirin.

Supporters' groups across the United States have taken issue with a new rule which bans the anti-fascist Iron Front symbol on banners and flags at games because it is deemed “political”.

When the United States football (soccer) team beat France in the Women’s World Cup quarter final, it was two goals by US player Meagan Rapinoe that got them over the line. If the US go all the way to win the cup on July 7, Rapinoe will likely have played a decisive role. But the attacker had already made headlines, refusing to sing the national anthem and telling the media that, should the US win the cup, she will not “go to the fucking White House”. Lindsay Gibbs looks at the furore created by Rapinoe’s stances.

The Club: How the Premier League Became the Richest, Most Disruptive Business in Sport|
Joshua Robinson & Jonathan Clegg
John Murray Publishing, 2019
338 pages

If football is a simple game (get the ball, pass the ball), then the football business is even simpler (buy the best players, bank the profits).

United States football (soccer) players filed a federal gender discrimination lawsuit on International Women’s Day on March 8 seeking pay equal to that of their male counterparts.

The action comes just three months before the women’s national team will defend its title at the Women’s World Cup.

The class-action lawsuit was filed today in a Los Angeles federal court under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It alleges gender-based discrimination by the US Football Federation.

When world football executives receive FIFA’s annual report this year, they will see that US$753,000 is funding a women’s league in Colombia, $588,197 is helping female players in New Zealand and girls in Botswana are benefiting from $341,600.

That’s merely a snapshot of the $270.3 million that football’s world governing body has invested in projects between 2016 and 2018.

Four years since police raided the hotel and offices of football officials and FIFA’s Zurich headquarters in 2015 in a scandal that threatened the organisation’s existence, FIFA is awash with cash.

The Peter Norman Story
Written by Andrew Webster & Matt Norman
Macmillan, 2018
$34.99

When Footballers Were Skint: A Journey in Search of the Soul of Football
Jon Henderson
Biteback Publishing, 2018
308 pages

Bill Leivers, who played for Manchester City from 1953-1964, wryly recalls to the British journalist Jon Henderson in When Footballers Were Skint about how the football club owner once rewarded the players on the train home from a successful away game, not with a fistful of sterling for a few drinks all round, but with a packet of Polo Mints.

Noor Daoud was the only woman to take to the track in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the Palestinian car racer impressed the crowds with her “drift” driving skills.

The Invictus Games, taking place in Sydney over October 20-27, features athletes who were injured serving in the armed forces of 18 countries. The games celebrate the undefeated human spirit, but come with deep irony, being sponsored by the very same arms companies that profit from causing the injuries in the first place.

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