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The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Clinton gets serious about soccer

SOCCER-WORLD/By Jon Herskovitz

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is serious about his soccer. He is a cheerleader for the US bid to host the World Cup; proud of the prowess on the pitch in South Africa for the red, white and blue; a fan of the noisemaking vuvuzela and a thinker who sees the beautiful game as a way to gain insight on disputes between ethnic groups and nations.

Clinton, still jubilant after attending a dramatic U.S. victory in stoppage time over Algeria a night ago, spoke to a roundtable of reporters for about an hour on Thursday. For him, the game is an intellectual pursuit and a passion. One book he cited was How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory on Globalization, by Franklin Foer. Foer offered some insight on his theories in an interview a few years ago with Mother Jones magazine.

The game has also served a window to the world outside the United States for Clinton who was introduced to the sport and the passion of soccer when he was a Rhodes Scholar in England in the late 1960s.

After the U.S. match against Algeria, Clinton shot the breeze in the locker room with the American players and offered a few words of wisdom that were perhaps more philosophical than any pep speech they have heard from a coach.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

A South Africa rugby match is a whole other world


The contrast between the highly-controlled environs of the soccer World Cup venues and the likes of Cape Town's Newlands stadium, home to a South Africa v France rugby test on Saturday, was marked.

At Newlands, the supporter is king. For decades fans have turned up early with their own food and lit hundreds of barbeques, or brais as they are known in South Africa.