Reuters Soccer Blog

New Juventus stadium unique in so many ways

August 13, 2011

Juventus are due to open their new stadium next month but so far there is no name and no big-name signing to grace it.

Belgrade derby was full of nice not nasty surprises

April 25, 2011

I attended my first Belgrade derby on Saturday and all the preconceptions I might have had were happily blown away in the brisk Serbian wind.

Soccer Break Tuesday

April 19, 2011

SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPShort and sweet today with little news on Monday and plenty of action to look forward to this week.

from Africa News blog:

Searching for it — not quite feeling it — in Polokwane

June 18, 2010
Searching for it -- not quite feeling it -- in Polokwane The fan fest sounded like a wild party with the vuvuzela horns booming through the empty streets of Polokwane town, one of the smallest of 10 venues for the first World Cup on African soil. Everyone must be there, we thought as there was little going on for a Saturday night in the northern South African town. Even the local Nandos restaurant on the main street shut by 8 p.m. But on closer inspection the soccer fan fest -- loud as it was -- was also pretty deserted. Soccer fever has yet to reach Polokwane. A sleepy town of just 500,000 people, it was hard to imagine Polokwane, which means place of safety, would host its first World Cup soccer match in less than 24 hours. In Johannesburg or Cape Town you could definitely "feel it". Here we weren't so sure. Driving through the town's eerily deserted streets searching for a restaurant where we could eat and watch the soccer, we discovered that was not an easy find. It was also hard to imagine what long-term benefit the town would see from being a host city. While for the four matches to be played in Polokwane the few hotels on offer for tourists were full, in between there were plenty of rooms at the inn. No team was staying nearby which would bring with it the paraphenalia of adoring fans or news-hungry media and the associated business. Those playing were flown in for pre-match training, again the day of the match and ferried back straight after. Police closed down the roads near the stadium on the edge of town the night before. But those fearing traffic similar to the four-hour long queues witnessed in Johannesburg trying to get to Soocer City need not have bothered. The streets were empty, the car parks empty and -- just 30 minutes before kick-off -- the stadium was half empty. By the second half, the stands were just about three-quarters full, though the blasts of the vuvuzelas compensated for the missing supporters. The Peter Mokaba stadium almost looked like they hadn't had time to finish painting it, with the stark grey concrete of the outer wall in direct contrast with Soccer City in Johannesburg's brightly coloured exterior. The inside was still coated in construction dust and most of the refreshment stands remained shuttered and closed during the match. Just two hours after the players left we found ourselves the lone figures in a dark stadium struggling to see the keyboard as we tapped out the finishing touches to our stories. Even the name of the stadium was controversial. Mokaba was the African National Congress (ANC)'s youth league leader who, like his current counterpart Julius Malema, was fond of the phrase "Kill The Boer," which upset many Afrikaners. Ironically there's not even a local soccer team to make use of the sparkling pitch. Residents said the Rai Stars disbanded long ago and the nearby promising Black Leopards team are based more than 150 kilometres away in a less than World Cup standard stadium. <http://www.blackleopardsfc.com/10_stadium_info.htm> The Dynamos train 100 kilometres away. Neither team play in the country's top league. "You can't help thinking this huge stadium will just be derelict and empty in a few years time," said one hotel worker.

Polokwane StadiumThe soccer fan fest sounded like a wild party with the vuvuzela horns booming through the empty streets of Polokwane town, one of the smallest of 10 venues for the first World Cup on African soil.

Community Blog: Fan parks not for the fainthearted

June 15, 2010

SOCCER-WORLD/I have decided that the World Cup fan parks are not my cup of tea. I am a bit of a football snob who prefers to either watch the game at the stadium or in front of the telly where I can follow the proceedings closely.

End of St James’ Park is ultimate sell-out for Newcastle fans

October 28, 2009

Newcastle United fans have put up with a lot over the years but selling “naming rights” for James’ Park might be the final straw for some fans.

So fans need instructions on scarf-waving now?

August 24, 2009

Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium gleamed in the sunshine on Saturday as the north London side produced an exhilarating display to beat Portsmouth 4-1 in the Premier League.

‘A Rose Bowl by any other name would smell as sweet’

May 11, 2009

The Miami Dolphins used to play at Dolphin Stadium. It was not, it has to be said, a particularly imaginative moniker for the venue but nonetheless it carried a certain logic. But the days of Dolphin Stadium are over: when the Fins kick off the new NFL season in August, they will be performing at Land Shark Stadium.

World Cup could fall flat if South Africa carry on losing

September 10, 2008

South Africa fans look unhappy

South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup is supposed to be a watershed for the world game and the African continent, an opportunity to emphasise the international flavour of the game and at the same time give an under privileged continent a chance to prove its potential and bask in the world spotlight.

What’s your least favourite stadium?

March 19, 2008

New Wembley

Juventus have decided to redevelop the moth-balled Stadio delle Alpi, one of the most unloved stadiums in the world.