Posts Tagged Sport

Spanish Soccer Players Strike Due to Unpaid Wages

Posted by Noel on Friday, 9 April, 2010

It looks like Saturday night’s “El Clásico” between Real Madrid and Barcelona will be the last major Spanish league game that we will be able to enjoy for a while, as the Wall Street Journal has reported that the as of next week players will be striking.

Strike Picketers

A strike looms loudly over the Spain's "La Liga"

The strike affects the top four divisions of the league, the Primera, Segunda A, Segunda B and Tercera divisions. The AFE (Spanish Players Union) said that 85% of soccer players in Spain’s top three divisions either get paid late or not at all. It also says that the Spanish Football Federation still owes the union €8 million ($10.7 million).

In the US we are very used to hearing about strikes. Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL have all been effected fairly recently by strike shortened seasons. The difference though is that these strikes were related to potential future earnings, not money owed. While this strike pertains mostly to soccer players playing in the lower tiers of Spain’s professional soccer league, it is still quite disconcerting to see that owners of professional soccer clubs are unwilling or unable to pay players what was promised.

Toilet Money Roll

This topic is a great excuse to show a picture of toilet paper money

On the bright side, it is nice to see that the more financially secure and powerful players in “La Liga” are supporting the up and coming and/or less talented players in the lower divisions. Without the support of the Primera division players, this strike would surely be taken less seriously.

Sadly it also means that we may miss some games in one of the world’s top soccer leagues, let us hope that it is all resolved shortly.

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Great Fakeout, Terrible Penalty Kick

Posted by Noel on Tuesday, 6 April, 2010

In a Brazilian indoor soccer match between Flamengo and Sao Paulo, this player performs an amazing fakeout. Too bad he couldn’t finish the job.

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Ban of Iranian Girl’s Soccer Team Creates a Peculiar Problem

Posted by Noel on Monday, 5 April, 2010

According to the Associate Press, Iran’s girls’ soccer team was thrown out of the Youth Olympics because FIFA rules prevent players from wearing an Islamic headscarf.

Soccer in Hijab

Iranian soccer player wears a hijab scarf

The hijab scarf — worn by girls and women to observe Islamic dress code — was not allowed under FIFA rules relating to on-field equipment, the Asian Football Confederation said. Despite the urging of Iran’s national Olympic committee for the ban to be reviewed by the International Olympic Committee, the Iranian under 18 girls soccer squad will not be participating in the coming youth Olympics this August.

In response to criticism regarding the decision, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, referenced soccer’s international rulebook which contains a section on player equipment, stating that “basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements.”

Canadian Player Dons a Hijab Scarf

This is a peculiar problem for FIFA and soccer worldwide. The intent of the law was clearly to avoid religious persecution and problem by removing one potential source. Insisting that all teams wear uniforms that do not express religious or political opinions or agendas of any kind would normally help in that regard, but in this case the tolerance policy proves to be remarkably intolerant.

The best team from the Asian Football conference will not be playing in the tournament and it will be so because of a law that forces one side or the other to bend. FIFA has shown that they will not, and the Iranian Football Federation (F.F.I.R.I) certainly will not either. All in all, the whole thing is unfortunate as a team of hopeful young athletes who earned a spot in the Olympics will sit at home.

Iran was to have taken part in a six-nation tournament for girls at the inaugural competition in Singapore on Aug. 12-25. About 3,600 athletes, ages 14 to 18, will compete in 26 sports.

Thailand will now represent Asia in Iran’s stead against Turkey, Equatorial Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile and Papua New Guinea.

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