FIFA in Crisis

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An impromptu FSF session took place on June 4 to discuss the impact and aftermath of Sepp Blatter’s announcement of his impending resignation as president of FIFA just four days after being reelected to a fifth term.

What are fútbologists saying and thinking about in relation to Blatter and the larger FIFA bribery and corruption scandal? Discussion topics ranged from institutional reform, global media coverage, and the role of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean in the crisis to what may (or may not) happen at the world body in the coming months.

Participants: Chris Bolsmann, David Kilpatrick, Simon Kuper, Marcela Mora y Araujo, Dan Evans, Matt Hawkins, Rwany Sibaja, Steven Apostolov, Martha Saavedra, Agbenyega Tony Adedze, Chris Henderson, Alex Galarza, and Peter Alegi.

Download the audio of the session here.

Brand Brazil: Past as Prologue

Brasilidade, class, gender, futebol força versus futebol arte, tropical modernity, the 2014 World Cup, and globalizing “brand Brazil” were just some of the topics discussed in the Football Scholars Forum’s inaugural event of 2014-15 with historian Roger Kittleson.

Joining the author of The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil, were: Danyel Reiche, Christoph Wagner, Lindsay Krasnoff, David Kilpatrick, Rwany Sibaja, Andrew Guest, Brenda Elsey, Javier Pescador, Austin Long, Chris Henderson (all via Skype), and Nubia Rodrigues, Liz Timbs, David Glovsky, Alejandro Gonzales, and Peter Alegi in the Michigan State University History Department‘s new LEADR Digital Lab.

Click here to listen to an audio recording of the session.

FSF’s next event is on October 30. James Montague (@JamesPiotr), aka the “Indiana Jones of soccer journalism,” will participate in a discussion of his new book Thirty-One-Nil: On the Road With Football’s Outsiders: A World Cup Odyssey.

From *Africa’s World Cup* to Brazil 2014

AfricasWorldCup_Cover 2FSF members from four continents convened online on October 24 for a lively discussion of Africa’s World Cup: Critical Reflections on Play, Patriotism, Spectatorship, and Space, a new collection edited by Peter Alegi and Chris Bolsmann.

With the editors and several chapter authors in attendance, the group considered the book’s attempt at blending scholarly and journalistic approaches, as well as the process of writing, editing, and publication. A fruitful comparison between South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 put the spotlight on how the FIFA World Cup is entangled in a web of national and international politics, economics, and culture. There was also a fair share of debate over Luis Suarez’s handball (against Ghana) and the contradictory legacies of this “African” World Cup.

The participants were: Andrew Guest, Chris Bolsmann
, Christoph Wagner
, David Patrick Lane, 
David Roberts, 
Derek Catsam, 
Jacqueline Mubanga, 
Raj Raman, 
Orli Bass
, Rwany Sibaja, 
Laurent Dubois
, Achille Mbembe
, Jordan Pearson, Sean Jacobs, and Alex Galarza (all via Skype); and Liz Timbs, 
Dave Glovsky, 
Alejandro Gonzalez, and 
Peter Alegi (in East Lansing).

The audio recording of the discussion is available here.