Melting pot

‘A lack of reliable doping data puts the spirit of sport in peril’

By Roger Pielke Jr 30 September 2014  Sport is in the news for a lot of the wrong reasons, from the scandal over the NFL's response to cases of alleged domestic abuse to FIFA's latest farce - the global football body ordering executives to return $27,000 watches given as gifts during this year’s World Cup by a grateful Brazilian FA in the same week FIFA sponsored a meeting on ethics. One area where sport would seem to have its act together is in the area of anti-doping, or in clamping down on the use of prohibited performance-enhancing drugs. The biggest 'catch' in recent times...


‘The president couldn’t say who owned his players. Maybe criminals. Astonishing’

By Ian Herbert 12 September 2014 One of the main panel events at the Soccerex global convention in Manchester this week was headlined: 'How to run a club successfully.’ We heard all of the usual stuff about what the game has become: Liverpool selling £50,000 of Mario Balotelli shirts in a day, reaching 10 million unique users and having 100 million page views on the website. And associated confection. And then the Sporting Lisbon president, one of a panel of executives assembled for the discussion, said two extraordinary things. That he did not know who ultimately owned some of his players. And that...


‘The data’s clear: soccer is becoming more significant in the US sporting landscape’

By Roger Pielke Jr 12 September 2014  It is a favorite debating topic among football fans in the United States: has soccer arrived in the United States? On one level the question simply reflects the fundamental insecurities of the American soccer supporter of a certain vintage. But those insecurities are based on experience. If you grew up when I did, in the 1970s and 1980s, soccer was a third-tier sport at best. My high school did not even get a varsity team until my junior year in 1985. On the other hand, trends do change, and it worth asking what role soccer plays...