In this issue


Editor’s Note – Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan Wilson’s Editor’s Note from Issue Five

World Cup Bidding

The Fall-Out – James Corbett
Significant questions remain unanswered about the World Cup bid process

Russia’s Victory – Igor Rabiner
Russia’s success in the 2018 bid was a triumph over internal as well as external opponents

Qatar Hero – Philippe Auclair
Michel Platini is often seen as the ex-pro coming to save Fifa. But why did he vote for Qatar?


Sócrates – David Tryhorn
The former Brazil captain talks about why footballers have a political responsibility


Roy the Rover – Philippe Auclair
Roy Hodgson explains how his travels have shaped his coaching philosophy

Like a Shooting Star – Luca Ferrato
How Ternana soared and then crashed with Corrado Viciani’s high-tempo style

The Skilling Fields – Steve Bartram
Manchester United are just one of the clubs influenced by the coaching model of Wiel Coerver

The Asian Market

The Gaijin of Gamba – Ben Mabley
Fan culture has begun to challenge Japanese hierarchies. The only European Gamba ultra explains how

Sing When You’re Winning – Ian Griffiths
How the need to appear successful turns fans in Singapore from the S.League to the Premier League

Photo Essay

The Hard Core – Misha Domozhilov
Images of the fans who followed Zenit St Petersburg as they won the Russian championship in 2010


The Centre-back and the Kitchen Knife – Lars Sivertsen
Claus Lundekvam opens up on his battle against the addiction that overwhelmed him after retirement

My Name is Ally MacLeod and I am a Winner – Dominic Sandbrook
How Scotland’s humiliation at the 1978 World Cup knocked nationalism off course

The Lions Sleep Tonight – Jonathan Wilson
Ten years after retaining the Cup of Nations, Cameroon failed to qualify. What went wrong?


The Real Problem – Brian Phillips
Is the ‘real fan’ being marginalised or is he just a rhetorical tool?

Where’s Darth Vader Gone? – Simon Kuper
Is the age of football as a substitute for war coming to an end?

The Culture of Violence – Sergio Levinsky
The absence of leadership means there is little hope of Argentina’s hooligan problem being solved


The Glasses – David Ashton
A gift from a mysterious visitor changes life for a man on a Scottish estate…

Greatest Games

Romania 4 Yugoslavia 6 – Vladimir Novak
World Cup qualifier, Ghencea Stadium, Bucharest, 13 November 1977

Five Rings

Olympic Stories – Marcus Christenson, Steve Menary, Joel Richards, Colin Udoh and Jonathan WilsonFive tales from the rich history of Olympic football

Issue Five


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First published in June 2012, Issue Five contains 19 articles in 10 sections, including: Philippe Auclair investigating why Michel Platini vote for Qatar and James Corbett on the significant unanswered questions about the World Cup bidding process; Ben Mabley on how fan culture is challenging Japanese social hierarchies; and Claus Lundekvam opening up to Lars Sivertsen on his battle against drink and drug addiction.