Women’s World Cup: ‘It’s way more than football’ — Jamaica’s remarkable journey to France 2019

(CNN)Late afternoon in Dallas and the Toyota Stadium in the city’s suburbs is all but empty. Dotted around an otherwise sweep of vacant red and blue seats are a few hundred fans. Follow @cnnsport Deadlocked at 2-2 after 120 minutes, there was only one way to resolve the high-stakes third-place playoff which would determine which team would qualify for the Women’s World Cup in France. The winner, indeed, taking it all. We’re earning our respect, we haven’t got it, we’re earning it. Hue Menzies For all his time and commitment, for all his passion, despite his role in his country’s soccer history, neither Menzies or his coaching staff have ever been paid by the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF). But, the …

Luis Surez: Any player would like to go to Liverpool now. It was different then

Luis Surez, on the eve of Barcelonas Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, talks about his Anfield days, playing alongside Messi and why he does not mind being called fat It is the morning after the night Barcelona virtually won the league and Luis Surez has not slept much but he is grinning again, easing into a sofa, mate in hand. He has been busy lately: looking at flights, tickets too, and making history. As he strolls across in the sunshine, he is told the goal he scored the previous night, his 21st in the league this season, did not just take Barcelona to the verge of a fourth title in five years but also made him the clubs third highest …

How Borussia Dortmund is leading football’s fight against the far right in Germany

Dortmund, Germany (CNN)As a child, Daniel Lrcher remembers hearing the chanting on the terrace at his beloved Borussia Dortmund. Follow @cnnsport Anti-Semitic songs and monkey chants aimed at black players were not unusual in the late ’80s and ’90s, Lörcher recalls, but it was also the moment he believes football began to wake up to the hatred which had embedded itself within the sport. At clubs like Dortmund, it was the supporters who took control of the fight against racism, working with the club to eradicate the far-right element that had been part of Dortmund’s support throughout the 1980s. “At the end of the 1980s and early 1990s, the hooligan movement was very strong in Germany, ” Lörcher, a former …

‘Against all odds’: Women’s football — a vision for the future

(CNN)As the manager for the Afghanistan Women’s National Football Team, I’ve seen the remarkable drive that women and girls have to play football. If women will go to those lengths to play football, we can only imagine how the women’s game will develop under the right global conditions. Men’s football may have a 111-year head start, but with the required shifts in culture and governance, the women’s game will explode. READ: FIFA investigates Afghan football body over women’s team abuse READ: Death threats and football — how Khalida Popal escaped the Taliban A change in perspective — football is football Ballon d’Or winner shines despite sexism gaffe In many clubs, academies and federations globally, the women’s game is a “tick …

Ajax’s ‘Super Jews’ keep on singing amid rising anti-Semitism

Amsterdam (CNN)It takes less than a minute to walk from Amsterdam’s beautiful Portuguese Synagogue to the “De Dokwerker” statue. Follow @cnnsport But the nature of the vandalism, the green and yellow paint on the statue, and the painting of green swastikas on the street, suggested a blurring of the lines between anti-Semitism, and hatred of the city’s football club, Ajax. Throughout the Netherlands, and much of Europe, Ajax is known as a “Jewish club.” The vandalism, allegedly carried out by supporters of a rival football club in the Hague, shone a light on the complicated and often uneasy relationship between Ajax, the Jewish community and the anti-Semitism that it often attracts. ADO Den Haag, issued a statement in which it …

Matthijs de Ligt: Ajax’s latest homegrown hero

(CNN)There are few football clubs like Ajax. There are even fewer, perhaps, with as clear a pathway between academy and greatness. Matthijs de Ligt is the latest — not so much a cab off the rank as a Rolls Royce. He might just be the ultimate product of his environment. Ajax All-access: The Past They are the words of a natural leader, albeit one who was still four years from birth when Patrick Kluivert scored to clinch Ajax’s most recent European crown in 1995. The notion that age is but a number, perhaps, rings true nowhere more than at a club spearheaded by this impressive teenager. “Of course it’s an extra responsibility being captain of a club like Ajax,” he …