Recep Tayyip Erdogan Has Met His Match
Turkey’s soccer-obsessed president is engaging in a last-ditch effort to help his party hold on to power in Istanbul. Can Ekrem Imamoglu beat him at his own game?
Transnistria Isn’t the Smuggler’s Paradise It Used to Be
The separatist territory sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine has long thrived on porous frontiers and Russian backing, but Kiev has changed its tune and might be dragging it back toward the West.
Don’t Blame Soccer’s ‘Jewish’ Teams for Anti-Semitism
Hateful chants were notably absent when Tottenham played Ajax—but opponents of the two self-proclaimed Jewish teams routinely pelt them with neo-Nazi slogans.
FIFA Cares About Cash, Not Players
By allowing a refugee soccer player to remain stranded in Thailand, soccer’s governing body is scoring another own goal.
Mission Impossible: Inside the Dramatic Cave Rescue of a Thai Soccer Team
Two U.S. special operations airmen recall the ordeal.
In Croatia, Nazi Sympathizers Are Welcome to Join the Party
The national soccer team celebrated its strong World Cup showing alongside a singer who glorifies the country’s fascist past. But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
How a WWII-Era Chant Found Its Way to World Cup 2018
Symbols have power, even in soccer. Just ask Croatia.
Putin Doesn’t Care about Sex Trafficking
Russia could have done something to prevent sexual exploitation of foreign women during the World Cup. It chose not to.
Peru’s National Identity Was Bound Up With Conflict and Corruption for Decades — Then It Qualified for the World Cup.
On our podcast, how a country scores two goals in the soccer tournament and finds redemption.
Captain Erdogan Can’t Help the Turkish Soccer Team
With so much political, social, and financial capital invested in its national squad, why can’t Turkey qualify for a World Cup?
Xi Jinping Is the World’s Most Powerful Soccer Coach
China's team is a national embarrassment — but the party chairman has big plans for the game.
For Serbs, Switzerland Isn’t Neutral
Serbia’s nationalist soccer fans hoped to restore their national pride by beating a Swiss team led by Kosovar stars. Instead, the Kosovo-born Xherdan Shaqiri handed them a humiliating defeat.
If Trump Tears Up NAFTA, Sports Will Keep North America Together
The joint 2026 World Cup is yet another sign that Canada, Mexico, and the United States are becoming increasingly culturally and economically interdependent.
A Football God Is About to Become President of Liberia
Former AC Milan striker George Weah is revered in soccer-obsessed West Africa, but can he convince Liberians he’s smart enough for the top job?
Mexican Soccer Star Sanctioned for Drug Trafficking Ties
Rafa Marquez, Mexico’s captain, allegedly linked to Flores narco ring.
FIFA Dismantled Its Anti-Racism Task Force And Says Its Work Is Done
Despite calls for it to remain intact, FIFA has dismantled its anti-racism task force.
Running Out of People to Purge, Erdogan Targets Turkish Soccer Referees
Ninety-four soccer officials, including referees, have been purged in the wake of a coup attempt in Turkey.
This Russian Soccer Fan Was Expelled from France, then Live-Tweeted His Sneaky Return
Nine days ago, Alexander Shprygin was kicked out of France. Today, he was there to see Russia play Wales.
Among the Khuligans
When riot police, casual racism, and small-scale arson are part of an average weekend game, is it any wonder that Russian soccer fans’ trip to France turned ugly?