Day: December 12, 2010

Internet Provides Small Change in FIFA Reform

We’re delighted to be able to welcome Richard Whittall, who writes the excellent “A More Splendid Life” site, to our site this evening. Tonight, he wonders whether the internet has the ability to muster the required momentum to change FIFA and concludes that… it doesn’t, probably. It’s a familiar Internet phenomenon: something happens in the news that upsets a lot of people, someone says something on your Twitter feed about we should all “do something,” and in a few days the Internet Cause is born, complete with Twibbons, Facebook groups you can join simply by “liking” them, and dedicated websites pushing for “change.” The (already fading) uproar over FIFA’s decision to hand out World Cups to Russia and Qatar is just the latest in a long list of Internet causes célèbres. All in all, advocating for FIFA reform via the Internet is not a bad thing. But trying to lay down the foundation for significant institutional change on a medium used by many primarily to check Gawker updates in between trading partisan barbs on footie fan forums is a fool’s errand, at least according to New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell in a recent piece entitled “Small Change.” Says Gladwell of Internet Activism: The platforms of social media are built around weak ties. Twitter is a way of following (or being followed by) people you may never have met....

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Match Of The Week: Lancing 4-2 Witham Town (AET)

Hove, Aldrington, Portslade, Fishersgate, Southwick, Shoreham-by-Sea, Lancing. The train rumbles westward along the coast from Brighton for an unexpected treat, an FA Vase Third Round match between Lancing, of the Sussex County League Division Two and Witham Town, of the Essex Senior League. The FA Vase, as many of you will be aware, was first competed for in 1975, following the FA’s abolition of the formal distinction between professional amateur players. While the FA Trophy (the competition that professional non-league clubs have been playing for since the late 1960s), however, has been suffering in recent years as the Football Conference sweeps all before it at the top end of the non-league game, the Vase, by comparison, feels healthy. These are clubs whose hopes of reaching the Football League are, broadly speaking, remote, to say the least. What, then, of Lancing? With a population of around 19,000, it’s a contender for the honour of being Britain’s largest village, and is probably best known as the home of Lancing College, amongst whose alumni we can count Evelyn Waugh, Tom Sharpe and Tim Rice. It’s also now the home of the Sussex County Football Association, and their decision to use Culver Road, the home of Lancing FC, as their base has reaped considerable dividends for the club. The old stand has been replaced by a new, smart replacement with an outstanding bar,...

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