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A Football Report

AFR: The AFR Team has its say on the curious cases of Qatar & Russia: Neoliberalism at its finest?

A Football Report: The AFR team is sharing its diverse perspectives on the drama that unfolded yesterday in Switzerland in a series of posts throughout the next day or so. The series features perspectives from our writers who call places like Montreal, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, London, Manilla, Boston, and Lisbon home. We continue with the perspective of Soraya Soemadiredja, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto now living in Manila. She didn’t hold back. Enjoy.

Russia and Qatar? “YES! FIFA proves once again they’re all about the money!” And, more specifically: “Are you surprised your general culture of neo-liberalism has destroyed your own shot of hosting a World Cup in favour of two countries about which you westerners have unjustified and generally unfair stereotypes and generalisations?”*

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AFR: The Final Push: 2022 Edition

A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Manila

Despite several allegations of corruption and breaches of ethics, there are now less than 8 hours left for the bidding nations to convince FIFA to give them the ball to host the World Cup. So yesterday, the 2022 World Cup bidding nations presented their final push for the position and as we write/you read, the 2018 World Cup bidding nations will make their last arguments before the Executive Committee will vote. All 22 (24 committee members, minus the two who were suspended) of them then will vote, whereby a successful host nation should get at least 12 of these votes.

So we’ll go through the 2022 World Cup bids first, in case it has slipped your mind between all the other really important world events. It will from here on be dubbed the “Asia or Pacific Ocean bids”, viewed through the eyes of the easily distracted. (Seriously, for such an exciting event, the lead up to who gets to host it is really. Very. Dull.)

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AFR: In South-East Asia, the Suzuki Cup commences

A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Manila

South-East Asia is football mad, and collectively one of the largest consumers of European football* in the world. This December, it’s all about Asia though, and we’ll see all the big names in their region performing for their countries. The ASEAN Football Federation’s Suzuki Cup will commence in South-East Asia, co-hosted by Indonesia and Vietnam. The Cup has been around since 1996, originally called the Tiger Cup and come the eve of the new year, will another side be in possession of the coveted cup? In Group A, we have Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos. In Group B, we have Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines. Read on for a lightning quick introduction to each of the contenders.

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AFR: FIFA bans six officals for ethics breaches but leaves one notorious man in place

A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Manila

FIFA’s Ethics Committee banned six football officials from football for breaching various articles of the organisation’s Code of Ethics but it remains to be seen just how much this action will affect the day to day practises of FIFA, one of the most notoriously unaccountable and the least transparent of international institutions.

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AFR: Hustlin’ for the World Cup

A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Manila

Bidding for the World Cup requires lobbying, wining and dining, carefully manipulated and crafted PR in exchange for securing the coveted hosting spot. The wheeling and dealing happens in the public eye and must go unquestioned by the media watchdogs under the rules of the game. In essence, the process is best left to skilled hustlers.

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AFR: Indonesia’s football woes, when government and sport collide

Indonesian football fans watching Indonesia play Uruguay

Indonesian football fans watching Indonesia play Uruguay

A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, writing from Jakarta

The play by play of the recent friendly between Indonesia and Uruguay mirrors the conditions of which the Indonesian fans have been subject at the international level for their national side. They started out enthusiastic, strong and willing to commit, even managing to score first. But with every attack on their goal, be it a poor result by the national team or corruption, the more disenchanted they become. Fatigue sets in from dealing with politicians taking advantage of the most popular sport. Then the unravelling,  opposition hammering at their net without defence from an adequate development system.

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AFR: The Homeless World Cup Kicks Off

A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Jakarta.

Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana is usually known for the beach bums and beauties, but this week, four years before Brazil’s Men’s World Cup hosting gig, it will be ‘home’ to teams from over 50 nations and territories who will compete in the 2010 Homeless World Cup to raise global awareness and “beat homelessness through football”.

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