The Soccer World Cup is supposed to be a festival of joy where the world meets in celebration. The agreements on how the events would go down in Qatar had been years in the making. The last-minute decision to pull beer from the stadiums for everyday fans is an ugly power move by religious authorities. In their Tweet, FIFA is trying to play nice with host nation authorities, but it was clearly a unilateral decision by Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, as NBC News confirms. Religion won a pyrrhic victory here. The sports world will hopefully more considerate when picking host nations for the next major event. A good guiding question would be: Is the diversity of the entire world truly welcome here?
As Muslims around the world end the Ramadan fast, the sporting world wishes blessing. Especially the UFC and Soccer are heavily involved in reaching out to their Muslim athletes and fans:
Palm Sunday is here and Christians the world over remember Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem. Among the celebrations there is humor:
The BBC is even running a piece that looks at what Palm Sunday and football have in common:
Some soccer clubs just join the leisurely atmosphere of the crowds shouting their Hosannas:
EA Sports came out with a special Ramadan kit and midnight league to accommodate everyone who observes the fast.
In real life, the Premier League will allow fasting players to come to the side of the pitch and quickly take on liquids or any energy supplements before resuming one of the nine evening matches during this holy month.
The Royal Shrovetide Football Match is a game played annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England. Shrovetide football dates back to at least the 12th century. The last game was in 2020 just before the COVID pandemic shut down most of public life. The event was canceled in 2021. Today is the second day of the 2022 game and the tradition is experiencing a resurrection.
Real Salt Lake is excited to get Sergio Cordova on loan from FC Augsburg. The Forward became available thanks to RSL’s new ownership. The 24 year old “thanks God for this beautiful opportunity in my life.”
Cologne is home to two major players in sports and spirituality: the 1. FC Köln currently ranks 8th in the Bundesliga and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne is the biggest Diocese in Europe. Recently, the two meet in the hashtag #outinchurch. The soccer club supports the over 120 priests and employees with the Catholic church community in Germany who came out as queer and launched a campaign demanding an end to institutional discrimination against LGBTQ people. You can love God, love soccer, and be queer at the same time!
Albert Rusnák signed a Designated Player contract with the Seattle Sounders. Rusnák has been linked to almost every club in Major League Soccer, and a few overseas. This type of area coverage is well reflected on his body where every part has multiple tattoos. Real Salt Lake featured a special on Rusnák’s ink in August:
Ryan Smith is excited to join the Real Salt Lake Soccer franchise. On his Twitter bio the Utahn sports a line from one of his favorite LDS hymns: “I’ll go where you want me to go”. We will see what the future holds for the 2009 MLS Cup Champion. Co-owner David Blitzer clarifies that they want championships:
And in the meantime, the choir keeps on signing:
The National American Soccer Reporters just announced their newly elected officers. Among them is Rachael Kriger as Vice President. She is a true leader at the intersection of sports and spirituality as a soccer reporter and youth minister. Rachael’s Instagram beautifully merges soccer and church. She works as a social media coordinator, a writer and photographer for The Equalizer and as a Youth Minister for Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Ocala, Florida. Thanks to Rachael and all who promote sports and spirituality.