The Blizzard: Issue Nine

Jonathan Wilson (editor), 2013
https://www.theblizzard.co.uk/product/issue-nine/

This issue of The Blizzard presents some quite interesting topics. First of all Iran as a soccer country is covered. Gwendolyn Oxenham describes the search for pickup soccer in Iran, especially as a woman, and shows nicely the situation in this country at the moment, the gap between government and the people, between the law and the reality on the street. For a foreigner it is nearly impossible to understand which laws have to be followed by the letter and which can be stretched, which written and unwritten rules exist and how to navigate in that atmosphere to allow a decent living and to have some fun from time to time. Unfortunately the second story about Iran was not that interesting, the author just tried to make an article out of the fact than one of the World Cup planners for the Iranian national team holds an US passport. You might ask: “So, what?” and that is exactly all to say about it.
Again there are also some pieces about the FIFA in this edition, an interview of the head of the ethics commission, which was newly installed at that time and about corruption in the Asian Football Confederation. Now, two years later, all the little hints and information that the FIFA system might be corrupt through and through sound so naive and small scale but that was the start how the whole scandal got rolling and it is good to recapture of the events which step by step finally led to the fall of Blatter and Platini.
A nice contrast make the articles about Manchester City and how the investments of it Sheiks will influence the cities development plans and about Leeds United and how the club and  its reputation is synonymous with the Northern blue-collar worker. They received attention in the sixties and even made it in the mainstream movies as rowdyish anti-heroes and then were fought and beaten down by the government in the eighties. In the same way clubs like Leeds United, never loved for their beautiful but for the fight they put on and their clear opposition to the London clubs in the south, rose and declined at the same times.
Finally there is also an interesting interview of Igor Rabiner with Lev Yashin’s widow which is interesting simply because footage and information from that time are rare and even more so, for soccer in the Soviet Union.

Biography: 2/3
History: 3/3
Background: 1/3
Tactics & Game philosophy: 0/3

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