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Using Soccer as an Organizing Tool by and for the People, Not the Money

The City Project and Anahuak Youth Sports Association use soccer as an organizing tool to bring people together to create the kind of community where they want to live and raise children, reflecting the value of soccer in immigrant communities.

The decision to hold the Latin American Libertadores Cup Super Final between River Plate and Boca Juniors in Madridis a pendejada of World Cup proportion. The decision reflects what professional sports have become: “an entertainment complex squabbled over by fiefs and autocrats, a way of exerting soft power and measuring importance that is worth almost any price, a circus paid for in bread.” So much for the love of the game.

“But what they will get will be a pale imitation, a simulacrum, designed by executives in boardrooms, decided by power brokers in private, staged for the benefit of the television cameras. This is what soccer is now, and what it may well be in years to come: UEFA is likely to see this game, should it go ahead, should Boca’s latest legal appeal fail, as a green light to take the Champions League final — its own showpiece — outside Europe: to the Middle East, to North America, to wherever the money on offer is most persuasive.

At the end of it all, there will — or there may, anyway — be a game. Once the broadcasters and the governments and the authorities have had their say, once they have decided what it will look like, and who may be allowed to attend, there will be a game. But it is not the same game as it used to be. To some extent, it is barely a game at all.

The decision to move the Copa Libertadores final to Spain is a failure of leadership, organization and governance. But it also is a precedent teams and fans may come to regret.”

Los Angeles State Historic Park Grand Opening 2006

Rory Smith NY Times: A Final for All Time, Sacrificed on the Altar of the Modern Game