Football fans in colorful wigs, headbands and red t-shirts with the golden star crowd the T2 Terminal in Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport. Most of them have booked one-day tours to the Philippines. Two women dressed for the final match against Indonesia for the SEA Games gold medal hold up a cutout of South Korean coach Park Hang-seo and a banner with "Viet Nam" emblazoned on it. Travel agency Vietravel has said that around 1,000 of its customers will fly from Hanoi, Saigon and Da Nang City to go today to the Ninoy Aquino Airport in the Philippines today. People wait to check in for their flight in Hanoi. Nguyen Cong Hoan, director of Hanoi RedTours, said around 300 customers would fly on two planes operated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines. All their tours to the Philippines sold out within 12 hours after December 5, he said. Vietnam drew against Thailand in their last group stage match on December 5, securing a spot in the SEA Games men's football final. Nguyen Viet Hung, 5, … [Read more...] about Vietnam airports awash in red as football fans head for the Philippines
With Liverpool strolling towards the title without any of their rivals being able to lay a glove on them, Sadio Mané is being sized up for an enquiry as to whether a similar experience at Paris Saint-Germain might suit him. According to France Football, the Senegal forward is prominent in the club’s thoughts, especially if Neymar stomps off elsewhere. PSG would, of course, have to reckon with Jürgen Klopp’s unwillingness to let his in-form man go, and the fact that Mané’s contract ties him to Anfield until 2023, so the sum involved would need to be colossal. But PSG do like a challenge. Despite three stunning quickfire goals on Monday night, large parts of Arsenal’s game, and matches, are still a bit rubbish and they could do with tightening up. Enter the rejuvenated Chris Smalling, who is impressing on loan at Roma from Manchester United, and who the Mirror reports is being tracked by the Gunners with a view to a permanent deal. Internazionale, … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: PSG to move for Liverpool’s Sadio Mané?
It has been one of the eternal questions of the Premier League era, echoing down the years as kits have got tighter and wage packets heavier. Will the bubble ever burst? Will the seemingly insatiable demand for the product ever level out? Will the thirst of giant media companies for live top-flight action in order to grow and retain their customer bases ever run dry? Will the exponential growth in TV rights income at home and abroad that has fuelled the endless inflation of the Premier League’s high-octane balloon ever level off? Every time the question has been posed, the answer has come back ever more emphatically: no. Just as one tectonic plate appears to be shifting, another slots into place to take broadcasting income to new heights. The bitter competition between Sky and BT Sport, both desperately using sport as a weapon in the battle for customers across TV, broadband, telephone and mobile, plus the increasing demand across the world in an international market that is … [Read more...] about Is the unthinkable happening – are people finally switching the football off?
You're sat hunched over your computer, five different tabs open in three different browsers. One more open on your phone. The group chat is overflowing with anxiety and everyone is just waiting. Poised, with their trigger fingers hovering over the refresh button, counting down the seconds until it's time to pounce. What does this make you think of? Glastonbury, right? Maybe Arctic Monkeys at the O2, or Jay-Z and Beyoncé at the London Stadium. But for fans of American football, this is also now the reality of getting tickets for the few games a year played in London. A decade ago it seemed unthinkable that the British public would be scrambling to watch the Tennessee Titans in the same way they do Justin Timberlake. America's Game was always a very niche interest to us, our knowledge of the sport limited to the odd game of Madden played round a friend's house (quickly ditched because neither of you knew the rules). No longer. Sky Sports now airs as many NFL … [Read more...] about It’s now harder to get a ticket for a London NFL game than a Beyoncé concert – so where next for American football in the UK?
Was it Brian Clough who said of football’s role in hooliganism: “If people have a fight in a supermarket car park, nobody blames Sainsbury’s”? Perhaps Clough, or Oscar Wilde, or possibly Chairman Mao – one of those lads who was always saying stuff, anyway. The point that Cloughie, or Maoie, was making was an invitation to explore sport’s place in society, its responsibility to it, and whether it shapes or reflects its life and times. It would perhaps be an exaggeration to say that British football is undergoing a period of self-examination, for countless millions here and abroad are more than happy with the shiny, noisy thrill of it all, with the Premier League’s pulsating hyper-capitalism and... … [Read more...] about BT Sport film State of Play gives football a health check on mental health, racism and game’s soul
International footballer Ched Evans has been found not guilty of the rape of a 19-year-old woman, but the decision to allow the jury to hear the sexual history of the complainant has sparked outrage from women’s support groups and campaigners. As Evans was acquitted of rape at a retrial on Friday, five years after having sex with the woman in a hotel room, activists expressed fear that an earlier appeal court ruling which allowed the complainant’s sexual behaviour to be taken into account by the jury would set a dangerous precedent, and could deter women from coming forward to report sexual offences. The appeal court judgment – which was made before the retrial, but can only now be reported – allowed new evidence from two witnesses who gave testimony about the complainant’s sexual preferences and the language she used during sex. It led to her being questioned in detail in open court about intimate details of her sex life. Evans, who has played for … [Read more...] about Ched Evans: footballer found not guilty of rape in retrial