The Duck of Minerva

Belabored Belated Thursday Football Linkage

27 June 2014

I’m back from Brazil and resurfacing with many story ideas from my recent adventures. In the meantime, if you are like me, you have soccer on the brain and are getting your head around yesterday’s winning loss to Germany by the U.S. team.

I’ll make a tangential attempt to make a linkage to international politics, which is rather easy when you see the scope of money involved in building the stadiums in Brazil, the threats of player work stoppages, particularly by African teams, for failure to pay appearance fees, and the outlandish price of Neymar’s new shoes for Nike. Here is what I’ve been reading that connects soccer to international politics:

  • US Team qualified for the round of 16 yesterday after losing which was a great feeling. Going in to the game, I think the measured optimism of the moment and the mathematical possibilities for qualification were best captured here
  • Recife, Brazil was buffeted by crazy rains before the game yesterday, which led to some flooding in the city before the game. A function of bad drainage or just too much rain in too short a period?
  • The Washington Post explores whether it was worth it to spend $300mn on a stadium in Manaus
  • Ghana was just eliminated yesterday after losing to Portugal, but several Ghana stories, not least two key players being kicked off the team for disciplinary reasons, were interesting.
    • Days before the game, Ghanian players threatened not to play because they had not been paid appearance fees. A chartered plane brought $3 million in cash to the players the night before the gameGhanaApperance
    • Nigerian players following suit?
    • Also, Ghana’s power supply was such that in order for people to watch the game, some of the countries manufacturers had to power down
    • This tweet seemed germane
  • Polio virus detected in Brazil’s sewage, brought by traveler or potentially spread to travelers?
  • The USAID funded Demographic and Health Surveys are comparing the household health levels of competing teams.
  • Neymar’s new shoes for Nike will cost more than $500