Monthly Archives: November 2013

Filipino Football

The Philippines was thrown into the world’s spotlight in dramatic fashion on the 8 November this month. Typhoon Haiyan has took its toll with the current death toll at over 5,000 people with thousands more missing. The sporting world saw first-hand the consequences as recent Golf World Cup Champion and Australian-born Jason Day revealed he lost eight members of his family.  Also UEFA quickly prompted a sign of support with banners unveiled at every Champions League football game this week reading, “You are not alone, Philippines.” Generally football in the country has battled against the most popular sport, basketball, and struggles to gain enough popularity to grow organically. The national team continues to be one of the weaker across the globe and the domestic league remains effectively semi-professional with future plans to change that. However look beneath the surface and you will see a game that has been heavily influenced originally by Britain, Spain and more recently the rest of Europe. Remarkably when football was at the height of popularity the country even produced a Spanish football legend.

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Kenyan Football’s Steady Rise

The East African nation of Kenya hit the headlines in tragic circumstances recently when in September an Islamist group al-Shabaab attacked innocent civilians and children in a Nairobi shopping mall. Over 70 deaths later the motive appears to have been their military’s deployment in troubled Somalia.

The country does not command many world-sporting headlines, except when their incredible track and field athletes take an abundance of medals in long distance-running events. Football is of course popular but success on an international stage has eluded them and with a domestic league that only gained official status and structure in the last fifty years, challenges, obstacles and controversy have littered the game.

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