31
Jul

Norwegian football club gets big boost from super fan’s estate

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(Image via @FLFart)

A Norwegian football club just got a big boost to their bank account thanks to a local fan.

Erling Andreassen, who passed away at the age of 91 in July, left nearly all his estate to his local club in Vang, Norway: FL Fart.

(Okay, yes, funny name, have a laugh — can we move on now?)

The estate totals nearly four million Norwegian Krone ($636,000) and will go into the coffers of FL Fart. The club is best known for their successful women’s team, which is playing in Norway’s top tier women’s league.

The team issued a statement on the “magnificent” gift, saying the board hasn’t decided how the funds will be allocated, but it will be brought up at their annual meeting to figure out how to best use them. For a club of such a small size, this donation will go a long way.

And since you’re still chuckling about the club name, “Fart” translates as “speed” in Norwegian.

(H/T Who Ate All The Pies)

14
May

Hope Solo caught up in feud with Portland Thorns owner and fans

imageHope Solo is at it again (Image: Getty)

Looks like USWNT No. 1 and Seattle Reign stopper Hope Solo has found herself in the midst of a little war of words. Shocker!

Over the weekend, Solo’s Reign visited the Portland Thorns in a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) contest between two unbeaten teams. The Reign held on to a 1-0 win, but a few egos seemed to be bruised in the process.

Thorns owner Merritt Paulson was the first to fire a shot across the bow, tweeting:

A depleted Thorns team? Paulson was likely referring to the absences of U.S. national team stars Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath. Nevertheless, another Reign and USWNT star, Sydney Leroux, fired back at Paulson:

That looked to be the end of it, until Solo tweeted out a photo on Tuesday that showed quite a few Thorns fans giving Solo the one-fingered salute.

It looks like some pretty definitive proof right here, but there’s always another side to every story. Lucky for us, these two squads will face off again on July 27, but this time on the Reign’s turf.

Stay tuned!

(H/T YardBarker)

8
Mar

Australian women’s pro team joins Under-15 boys league

imagePhoto: Getty Images

Forget ‘men versus boys.’

In Australia, it’s now: women versus boys. Literally.

A week after losing the W-League’s grand final to the Melbourne Victory, the Brisbane Roar have made the unusual choice to compete in Queensland’s Under-15s boys league. The reason? With a regular season that lasts only three months, the Roar would like to develop their players by providing them with more consistent playing time.

From The Guardian:

“We wanted to put them in a competition where physically they are able to compete and also able to play football and develop as players,” says head coach, Belinda Wilson.

What the boys have in strength, especially as they develop over the season, the women have in smarts, she says. “That’s the major difference. They are probably a lot stronger than us in the physicality, so we have to adapt our game so we can be competitive in that environment. In terms of footballing sense, the girls are a little bit more game aware and have more ability from a tactical point of view, because of the level they’ve been playing.”

She’d like to be competing with the under-16s boys, but with so many of her players away on national duties for long stretches of this season, the decision was made to go down an age group. But, she says, “we’d never, ever, ever play against the under 18s, because physically we can not compete against an under-18 boy. Or man.”

Wilson believes the regular off-season schedule will help the team be “bigger and better” next season. We’ll see.

H/T The Guardian 

13
Feb

Four players on Iran’s women’s national team found guilty of being men

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Forget random drug testing.

Female soccer players in Iran will now have to undergo mandatory, random gender testing after several top players — including four from the women’s national team — were found guilty of being men.

Medical examiners will now turn up unannounced at training sessions of teams playing in Iran’s Women’s’ Premier League and indoor league on the lookout for possible Juwanna Manns. Clubs will also be forced to carry out medical examinations on all new players before signing them to contracts, according to Ahmad Hashemian, head of the Iranian football federation’s medical committee.

From The Telegraph:

"Those unable to prove they are female would be barred from taking part in the women’s leagues until they underwent medical treatment," said Hashemian.

"If these people can solve their problems through surgery and be in a position to receive the necessary medical qualifications, they will then be able to participate in [women’s] football," Hashemian, a qualified doctor, said in remarks quoted by IRNA, the state news agency.

According to the IRNA, seven players have already had their contracts terminated under the federation’s gender test directive.

While pre-marital sex and homosexuality remain strict taboos in Iran, sex change operations have been legal in the country since 1979, when the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious ruling saying they were acceptable.

Photo provided by Getty Images.

H/T Dirty Tackle

19
Dec

Hope Solo notably upset at being left off USWNT all-time Best XI

The US women’s national team all-time Best XI was released on Thursday, featuring three active players in Christie Rampone, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan.

To come up with the selections, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) appointed a committee of 56 soccer historians, former players, coaches, media members and administrators at the national team level. Defender Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) and forward Mia Hamm were the only unanimous selections, while midfielders Michelle Akers and Kristine Lilly were just one vote shy of a unanimous ballot.

Here’s the full list from US Soccer:

Goalkeeper: Briana Scurry 1994-2008 (31 votes)

Defenders:

  • Brandi Chastain 1988-2004 (31)
  • Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) 1987-2004 (56)
  • Carla Werden (Overbeck) 1988-2000 (49)
  • Christie Rampone (Pearce) 1997-present (46)

Midfielders:

  • Michelle Akers 1985-2000 (55)
  • Julie Foudy 1988-2004 (40)
  • Kristine Lilly 1987-2010 (55)

Forwards:

  • Mia Hamm 1987-2004 (56)
  • Alex Morgan 2010-present (15)
  • Abby Wambach 2001-present (52)

Last week, Julie Foudy correctly predicted the all-time Best XI during a segment on ESPN’s Sportscenter (except for herself; Foudy chose to vote for Shannon Boxx), but drew the ire of current US goalkeeper Hope Solo in the process. Solo was not selected, losing out to Scurry by what we can only assume was a slim margin (considering Scurry got only 31 of 56 votes).

Interesting. You may remember that a young Solo was once benched in favor of Scurry back in the 2007 World Cup semifinals, which set off quite the firestorm. The USA lost 4-0 to Brazil, after which Solo said:

"There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves. And the fact of the matter is, it’s not 2004 anymore. … It’s 2007, and I think you have to live in the present.

Solo was briefly kicked off the team after that World Cup, and the controversy may have ended up costing her some votes during this selection process. In any case, it seems like any mention of Scurry still pushes Solo’s buttons a bit.

FOX Soccer’s Warren Barton and Matt Reis sounded off on the debate of Scurry vs Solo during Thursday’s FOX Soccer Daily show:

On Friday, the United States men’s national team all-time Best XI will be released on FOX Soccer Daily. Make sure to tune in to the show to find out the complete squad (live, FOX Sports 1, 3:30 p.m. ET).

14
Dec

Fenerbahce plays match in front of women and children only

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Have you ever wondered what a football match looks like with no men in the stands? Well, Fenerbahce found out, and apparently it’s not a big deal. At all.

The Süper Lig leaders banned all male adults for one match after drawing all kinds of negative attention for their expletive-laced chants, but the absence of testosterone clearly didn’t affect the outcome. In fact, the fairer sex may even have helped Fenerbahce’s cause, as the home side ran out easy 4-0 winners against Akhisar Belediye on Friday.

Take a look at the incredible scenes below (image courtesy of 101GG):

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Still a larger crowd than half of the teams in Serie A can lay claim to.

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And to think, this wasn’t the first time that Fener hosted a match filled with just women and children. Back in 2011, Fener distributed free tickets before a friendly after the Turkish FA banned adult males in result of fan violence during a preseason match against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Respect!

9
Nov

U.S. Women’s soccer team hitchhikes with fans after bus breaks down

Ahead of Sunday’s friendly against Brazil, the U.S. women’s soccer team held a final practice session at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday. Afterward, the team bus broke down, and not wanting to waste any time getting back to their hotel, the players decided to hitch rides back from a few lucky fans. One can imagine how difficult it must have been to persuade them!
The players expressed their gratitude via Twitter, and from the looks of it, the trip to the hotel was probably a lot more fun than a bus ride would have been.

How can you pay them back? How about deating Brazil to finish 2013 with an undefeated record, therewith extending your record 76-match home unbeaten streak? Sounds like a pretty good deal.

9
Nov

Teams threaten to boycott league if player doesn’t take gender test

Park Eun-Seon was the South Korean women’s soccer league’s top scorer last season with 19 goals in 22 games for Seoul City. Now, her rival teams’ coaches have threatened to boycott the new season if Park does not have a gender test. 

Unfortunately for the pack of sore losers, the Korea Football Association responded that Park passed a gender test when she was 15 and that there is no need for another test. Park, 26, played for South Korea in the 2003 Women’s World Cup and the 2004 Olympics.

Park’s gender was called into question once before, prior to the AFA Women’s Asian Cup tournament in 2010. South Korea did not select Park to the squad.

From Sky Sports:

"We have no intention of accepting the gender verification test just to stop the boycott," said Seoul Sports Council general secretary Kim Joon-Soo.

"But if it is needed for Park to compete in an international game and under specific regulations of FIFA, we will consider it. This is a serious violation of human rights that she’s suffering for a second time," said Kim.

"The question regarding Park’s gender identity shall never be raised again. The city of Seoul will take all necessary measures to protect our player’s human rights."

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Park Eun-Seon’s gender has come into question once again (Image: Haberist)

The boycott threat was issued by six of the seven WK-League teams, but on Thursday one of the coaches said he was resigning from the request. That coach reportedly insisted that their motives had been misunderstood and that they had simply been joking.

Terrible joke, we reckon.

On her Facebook page Park said she felt “humiliated” by again facing questions about her gender. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and I will not give up easily. I know what these people are trying to do, and I won’t fall down,” she added.