Football: more than just a game?

Ultra graffiti. by Aslan Media, FlickrWatching 11 people chasing a ball for 90 minutes might not seem like something of great political importance, but if you thought football was just fun and games then think again! Football fans are a political force to be reckoned with. They have been at the frontline of the revolutions during the Arab spring, as well as standing at the barricades in both Turkey and Ukraine.

by Lotta Herz

Not All Fun and Games: Three other Reasons not to Celebrate Sochi 2014

Nosochi.com2014, launched by a Circassian group. Photo by: jennifermackenziejones, FlickrWith the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games just three months away, Russia’s recently passed anti-gay law has led to widespread protests, leading Barack Obama to publicly state, “I don’t think it is appropriate to boycott the Olympics.”  The International Olympic Committee is similarly satisfied with the new law, stating it does not breach the Olympic charter, which forbids discrimination of any kind. The extent to which the new law will impact the Games—and Russian society more generally—remains to be seen, but there are three other important reasons to question the Sochi Olympics.

by Sean Kearns

The Unwanted Legacy of Euro 2012

With only days to go until the first ball of Euro 2012 is kicked, the tournament’s hosts, Poland and Ukraine, are preparing to hold a major sporting event for the first time. From June 8 until July 1, their major cities will fill with enthusiastic supporters of Europe’s 16 best national football teams. There is little doubt that the host nations’ promise of a fantastic atmosphere and wonderful, lasting memories for visiting fans will be fulfilled. However, while both Poland and Ukraine will undoubtedly benefit from the massive influx of tourists, once the tournament’s final whistle blows on July 1 only one thing will remain: the tournament’s costs.

By: Sean Kearns