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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Brazilian Soccer Team’s Chink-Eye Ad

August 5th, 2011 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

I don’t know much about soccer, but I think we can all agree it’s an international sport. It’s the world’s most popular sport, for one thing. And the sport’s crowning event, the FIFA World Cup, is a tournament with over 200 participating nations, and, consequently, the world’s most-watched sporting event.

“Real football” is also a game governed by international rules. Rules Brazil’s Santos FC broke this week when an ad was revealed featuring some its top players “celebrating” the fact that the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup will be held in Japan later this year.

This is sort of astounding when you consider Brazil is home to the largest population of people of Japanese descent outside of Japan. And while apparently there are a number of Brazilians on the interwebz defending Santos FC’s use of the chink-eye as a gesture of affection–sound familiar?–this ad still gets a red card.

Law 12 of the International Football Association Board's Laws of the Game clearly states a player can be sent off the field for "using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures"

Even if the chink-eye isn’t considered offensive in Brazil–which I find hard to believe, Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Brazilian Soccer Team’s Chink-Eye Ad

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North Korean Soccer: Just Another Day At The Office

January 24th, 2011 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

200 bona fide North Korean soccer fans arrived in Doha, Qatar via unicorn this month for the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers. Fans of the other football have a reputation for being fanatical and violent in many countries, and the DPRK’s are no exception.

Shit was bonkers.

And then a brawl broke out in the stands.

Continue reading North Korean Soccer: Just Another Day At The Office

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For Japan, The World Cup Is Half Empty

July 1st, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

Yesterday’s Japan vs. Paraguay elimination game was one of the most arduous, intense—even cinematic of the World Cup so far.

It wasn’t a pretty game, but it was tight. Regulation play (90 minutes) ended in a draw. Overtime (30 minutes) ended in a draw. And then came the shootout (see video below… worst moment in the world at 4:05):

Both teams played head-to-head as long as possible, and in the end, it came down to ten kick attempts. In the Cup’s only shootout so far, Paraguay didn’t miss a penalty kick, and Japan did. The shootout ended at 5-3… with many tears.

Komano, after the failed penalty kick

Continue reading For Japan, The World Cup Is Half Empty

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BABEWATCH: North Korean Footballer Jong Tae-se

June 22nd, 2010 | 11 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: Jong Tae-se

Age: 26

Hails from: Japan

Occupation: Striker for North Korea’s 2010 World Cup Team

Y’all, I’m not gonna front. I am not a fan of The Other Football. It’s not that I don’t enjoy watching a soccer match, it’s just that I don’t feel compelled to. I didn’t grow up watching soccer in Texas–soccer was the sport you played at my high school if you were too small for football, basketball, baseball, swimming and even, trust me on this one, tennis–so I’ve never bothered to learn its nuances. I realize that this is considered by most of the world to be a personality defect, and I accept that.

But you don’t need to know much about the game to be intrigued by Jong Tae-se, star striker for North Korea’s 2010 World Cup team, who got pummeled 7-0 by Portugal yesterday, which got TIME magazine wondering if the loss was “A Fatal Loss of Face?” Jong was born and plays professionally in Japan, is third-generation South Korean, but attended North Korean sponsored-schools in Japan, and has chosen to represent North Korea in its first World Cup since 1966.

Continue reading BABEWATCH: North Korean Footballer Jong Tae-se

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What I Learned From A Weekend Of Watching World Cup Soccer

June 14th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

Like I mentioned last week, I don’t know a lot about soccer–but I dig the aggro gentleman’s sport (and the gentlemen that play it) and I truly respect that it’s The World’s Game. So this weekend, when I wasn’t reading the July 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living (it has such cute pies on the cover!), or happily booing Ron Artest at the free throw line, I was watching solid hours of sweet-ass international soccer.

Here’s what a learned:

a) Sucks to be Robert Green.

WHOOPSIE.

b) No, seriously. It sucks.


c) Japan fans rule.
Continue reading What I Learned From A Weekend Of Watching World Cup Soccer

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BABEWATCH: Hidetoshi Nakata

July 8th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Name: Hidetoshi Nakata

Hails from: Japan

Occupation: Footballer-turned-Fashionisto

Why He’s a Babe: For one thing, you know dude’s smoking hawt when it literally takes HOURS to settle on what photo to use of him. “Hide” as greased-up Gay Icon (he is allegedly straight, but who knows)? Sartorialist? Soccer star? Playa? It’s not even clear to us what or who the 31 year-old retired athlete does these days–other than showing up at fashion shows looking really dope–and, frankly, with that body, we don’t give a shit.

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Now This Is What We Call a Crotch Shot

June 30th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Fuck that.

THIS is what we call a crotch shot:


(Spain eventually beat in Germany’s balls 1-0 in the European Championship final. ¡Viva La Nutcracking!)

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BABEWATCH: Netan Sansara

February 12th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Name: Netan Sansara

Hails from: England

Occupation: Professional football player

Why He’s a Babe: Because the 18 year-old is a footie (as in soccer) phenom. And his ears stick out slightly. Because he wants to be the first Britasian player in the British in the Premier League and in the full England team. And because he actually embraces being a role model and ambassador for his sport.

Read more about Netan at Kick It Out, European football’s anti-racism campaign site.

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"Shame and Honor, Not Hearts and Minds"

September 5th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

There’s a really excellent Wired story online by Noah Shachtman, who is reporting from Iraq. Yesterday’s post described an effort on the part of the U.S. Marines to win “hearts and minds” by passing out soccer balls and bags of food to Iraqis, a performance that ended in screaming and gunfire, though no one was hurt.

Balls for Peace? Hmmm.

Shachtman interviewed “Mac” MacAllister, a Marine Corps consultant who is described as someone who “spent years on end studying Middle Eastern history and tribal culture.” MacAllister contends that the U.S. military should focus on shame and honor, not hearts and minds, to win over the Iraqis.

Shame and honor are “limited resources,” Mac explains. “They’re exchanged like currency. And it’s a zero sum game. If I embarrass you, I take some of your honor, and you give me some of your shame. Now you want to do something to get it back.

“The father, off to the side, is thinking, ‘Hey, that’s my job.’ [giving the kid a soccer ball] So you’ve shamed him. He might also know that the kid doesn’t deserve it. Shamed him again. And if you give the ball to the little kid, he could get beat up, since the bigger ones prey on the littler ones. More shame. So does that father grab an Ak-47 and do a drive-by, to get back some of his honor?”

Best damn description of a Shame Spiral that I’ve read in a while, not to mention what’s really happening on the ground in Iraq. Click here for full story.

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AMAZIANS OF THE WEEK! The Iraqi National Soccer Team

August 6th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: The Iraqi National Soccer Team

Occupation: Asian Cup winners and role models

Known for: Teaching the world a thing or two, like…Iraqis are Asian (close enough for us, at least). And Sunnis and Shias can play on the same team. And not every sentence that begins with “Iraq” has to end with “war” or “terror.”

Click here to read more about the Iraqi team victory in the Asian Cup.

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