David Goldblatt: The Ball is Round (Part 2) and Beyond

Author, scholar, and journalist David Goldblatt became the second FSF author to visit Michigan State University in person (March 15-16). We had a lively discussion on the second half of his sacred text of football history: The Ball is Round. and learned more about David’s new project on the cultural politics of football in Britain since 1989.

Participants included: Alejandro Gonzales, Hikabwa Chipande, Andrew Guest, Ben Dettmar, Aaron Passman, Alex Galarza and Peter Alegi (all with the author in East Lansing), and David Kilpatrick, Ben Healy, Brenda Elsey, Corry Cropper, and Alon Raab via Skype.

Listen to the audio recording: http://footballscholars.org/audio/FSFGoldblatt1.mp3

[Goldblatt’s talk on March 15, 2012, in the MSU Department of History on football, Britishness, and Englishness is available here.]

Cairo Ultras in Egyptian Protests

Anti-government protests in Egypt are being driven by young men, including Egyptian ultras writes FSF member James Dorsey. “Soccer fans constitute a well-organized and feared pillar of the marshalling grassroots coalition determined to ensure that President Hosni Mubarak suffers the same fate as Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who was toppled earlier this month by mass demonstrations.” Full article here.

For more details on Egyptian ultras and the social and political implications of the game in Cairo, listen to David Goldblatt’s The Secret Policeman’s Football: Al Ahly v Zamalek (part 2 of his BBC radio documentary “The Power and the Passion”) and read this multimedia essay by one of the founders of Egypt’s first ultras group.