World Cup 2010

Football Fortunes for Mexican TV

Horacio Ramos is not bothered about paying an extra 50 dollars on his television subscription so that he can watch the entire FIFA World Cup, which kicks off Jun. 11 in South Africa.

Youngsters training at the SC10 football school. Credit: Natalia Ruiz Díaz/IPS

PARAGUAY: Football – Dream for Kids, Moneyspinner for Adults

From passion for football, to football as a profession: many parents in Paraguay are hoping this sport will provide a career for their sons, who flood into football schools with the burden of their dreams -- and their parents' demands -- to become sports idols.

Gaza's World Cup gets under way. Credit: Pam Bailey

Gaza ‘World Cup’ Scores Several Goals

Football is the world's most popular sport, boasting more than an estimated 2 billion fans. And despite its isolation from the world through Israel's four-year- old blockade, the Gaza Strip is no exception. When a football match is on, tea and shisha cafes are packed with people gathered around the TV sets.

SOUTH AFRICA: Teaching Girls to Report on the World Cup

For the nearly 50 million people of South Africa, the 2010 World Cup represents an opportunity to show the world its progress through sports. But for a new nonprofit organisation, soccer's biggest stage also offers an opportunity to publicise young women who tend to go unheard.

Neo Malema has a passion for soccer and helping other disadvantaged youths. He hopes to one day manage an organisation like Football for Hope. Credit: Zukiswa Zimela/IPS

SOUTH AFRICA: Playing Football for Hope

Sixteen-year-old Neo Malema and his brothers and sister live with his grandmother in the impoverished Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. Despite his poor background, Malema dreams of one day playing football for the country’s national squad, Bafana Bafana.

ARGENTINA: Football Violence Flares Up Ahead of World Cup

"Your president is willing to confront the wildest hordes of opponents, but not a football fan, ever," Argentine President Cristina Fernández once joked.

WORLD CUP: But South Africa Will Win

Less than a hundred days to go, and the world looks on, often more with scepticism than anticipation.

Charlene Paul and her baby stand in front of her house, next to Athlone Training Stadium, which is to be demolished.  Credit: Ann Hellman/IPS

SOUTH AFRICA: Community Fears World Cup Will Cause Homelessness

While South African parliamentarians attended a swanky pre-International Women’s Day celebration at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre, a group of destitute women in decaying Kewtown, just seven miles away, worried about looming homelessness.

RIGHTS-FRANCE: Assault Makes Zidane an Immigrant Hero

French football star Zinedine Zidane could have become a bigger hero among immigrant groups after he brought down Italian player Marco Materazzi with a head butt during the World Cup final in Berlin Jul. 9.

SPORT: World Cup Shows Different Faces of Immigration

Anyone unfamiliar with football could be excused for asking whether Italy was playing the World Cup final with France or with a team from Africa.

SPORT: World Cup Revitalises Tired German Spirits

For Germany, it was a World Cup full of surprises.

SPORTS: Mercosur Loses World Cup Hegemony

"Shameful", "a team with no soul", "at least the Argentines landed on their feet," said indignant fans and perplexed sports commentators here in reaction to Brazil's defeat Saturday, which sealed the loss of the Mercosur countries' longstanding hegemony in the final stages of football World Cups.

SPORT-COLOMBIA: Football for a Sense of Belonging

They have won three amateur football championships in the Colombian capital, came second in another, and are so far undefeated in a tournament now being played. But the Afro-Colombians of Los Corintios football club have never been included in the Soacha municipal championship.

CULTURE-CHINA: World Cup Revives Spirit of Mass Revelry

China failed to qualify for the World Cup but the country is, nevertheless, in the grip of genuine football fever which has had the effect of reversing long-standing government restrictions on unbridled public revelry and large gatherings.

SPORT: World Cup Scores for Integration, For Now

A German flag the size of a bath towel flaps in front of the Anadou bakery, one of umpteen meeting points for Turkish immigrants in central Berlin.

TRINIDAD: They Played, They Lost, Everybody’s Happy

It failed to score a goal during its debut performance in the ongoing 2006 World Cup in Germany, but Trinidad and Tobago is seeking to gain as much mileage as possible from the appearance of its footballers, dubbed the Soca Warriors, at the world's premier sporting event.

SPORTS-GERMANY: Taking the World Cup to the Streets

Excellent football does not require fancy stadiums or million-dollar contracts. That is the view shared by the organisers of the Street Football World Festival, to be held alongside the World Cup in Germany.

DEVELOPMENT: From World Cup to World Assembly

The football World Cup in Germany and the world assembly of civil society in Glasgow this week have the Millennium Development Goals in common. True or false? True, if the United Nations can have its way.

SOCIETY: World Cup Kicks Off New German Patriotism

Black, red and gold striped flags are painted on cheeks, flutter behind cars and are tucked into old ladies' window boxes.

UAE: Cashing In on Football Frenzy

A record-breaking sponsorship deal, corporate ‘season tickets' at hotels with purpose-built arenas equipped with plasma screens and projectors and smart cards that give access to matches are just a few of the businesses that are riding the craze in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to watch world cup football, without going to Germany.

SOCIETY: Forced Prostitution Shadows World Cup

Among the millions of people converging on Germany for the World Cup, some are here against their will - the women who have been trafficked to be forced into prostitution.

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