Representing Rohingya

Words by George Storr & Kieran Ahuja. Featured image from Rohingyafc.com

According to UN special investigator Yanghee Lee, Genocide was still being committed in Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims as recently as October. More than 900,000 Rohingya people have fled Myanmar as a result of a 2017 military crackdown and now they’re attempting to enter the world of international football.

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The Vietnamese football team: paving the way for a bright future in South East Asia

By Alex Brotherton

Within the cultural, racial and political melting pot that is Asian football, the region of South East Asia often finds itself forgotten. The likes of Japan, South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia have over the years made multiple appearances at World Cups and have won numerous Asian Cups. Meanwhile, Australia’s membership of the South East Asia Football Federation (ASEAN) notwithstanding, South East Asia has been under-represented. But while westerners associate that corner of the world with anything but football, a sleeping giant appears to be awakening. Keen to known for more than just a war, Vietnam is on the rise.

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The Sea, Rio Branco, Cobija: a look at footballers born in obscure locations

Have you ever been sat playing Football Manager and FIFA and come across a player and see his nationality and question where on earth that place is? From ‘The Sea’ to the Amazon Jungle, to Suriname, home of some of Holland’s finest imports, Brian Bertie takes a look at some of the finest stories of footballers to originate from obscure nations… 

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The Kolkata Derby, Asia’s Old Firm rivalry

By Kieran Ahuja

The nearly century-old Boro Match, Bengali for ‘Big Match’, regularly attracts attendances of nearly 100,000.

On December 29th, 49,863 people, mostly comprised of enthusiastic Glaswegians, turned out at Ibrox to watch the Old Firm Derby, a rivalry between Celtic and Rangers that is deeply ingrained in Scottish culture. It’s an incendiary match marked by passionate sectarianism, fierce rivalries and a delicate sense of pride; it’s the sound of tens of thousands of Scottish fans roaring until their voices crack as 22 players (often less by the end) push, shove and barge each other whilst vaguely adhering to the rules of football.

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The city of Newport: an unlikely setting for football fairytales

For the second year running, Newport County defied logic and odds to overcome English football giants in the FA Cup. Padraig Amond, who scored against Spurs last year, netted the all-important penalty to secure the Welsh minnows a historic and seismic upset against former Premier League champions, Leicester City. This time last year, goals from Conor Shaughnessy and Shawn McCoulsky saw off the mighty Leeds United. Not bad, hey? It’s not always been glamorous for football in the city of Newport, however, and our man Lewis Steele has explored the history and murky tales of the numerous clubs that have operated under the name of Newport… 

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Events at the San Siro on Boxing day are symptomatic of the deep-seated issues in Italian ultra culture

On the 27th December, an Inter Milan fan died in hospital after being hit by a van whilst fans clashed before a game between Inter Milan and Napoli at the San Siro the day before. The incident occurred at the end of a fight that involved around 60 people. It was also reported that three Napoli fans were stabbed and subsequently hospitalised.

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Football in the UAE: ‘A footnote to society’ growing to become an international force

UAE club Al Ain made the FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday, where they faced the biggest club in the world, Real Madrid. The score aside, it was a historic day for football in the UAE, and also football in the rest of the surrounding nations. 

For many nations in the world, football is the bread of life. When you think of football in South America, for example, it is easy to imagine children playing football without organisational structure: walking down to the local park with a battered football and playing football, just for the sake of it. Not necessarily with friends, not even with goals, just kicking a ball about, because that’s a way of life. In some Asian nations, it is the same. For football fans worldwide, football is a way in – it allows fans to enter a world that they become embroiled in. For other nations, it is a way out – a way to escape from every day life, a footnote to society.

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Buenos Aires: Mes qúe Boca y River

By Andrew Misra

A month of delirium rolls on in Argentina after the 2-2 draw in the first leg of Boca Juniors v River Plate in the Copa Libertadores Final. Unsurprisingly, all eyes in South America and beyond have been fixated on the biggest clash in the history of arguably the most intense footballing rivalry – the Superclásico. Bookies were quoting 1/250 for more than two yellow cards in the first leg. Off the pitch, these fixtures dodged security issues and the G20 Summit. While not expected to dazzle on the pitch, the first ninety minutes weren’t a damp squib in the end, despite rain postponing the match by a day. Boca can still win the trophy with a lap of honour in River’s El Monumental stadium on 24th November. It would be easy to focus on these two great superpowers from Buenos Aires (pronounced “Bwenos I-res”) who play out the battle of the continent. But to ignore the pedigree elsewhere in the capital would be to do an injustice to the city of “fair wind”. Greater Buenos Aires is home to 14 million people or one-third of the country’s population, and no fewer than 24 professional football teams. This includes the ‘Big Five’ teams in the country. This remarkable city has a profound influence on South American football.

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