I'm preparing (oh so slowly) a massive post on a massive book: David Goldblatt's The Ball is Round, a tome that Ray Hudson would describe as "MAGISTERIAL!" In the meantime, have a look at this interesting look at Kurdistan's halting efforts to pull together a national side, a story that would fit right in with Goldblatt's enormous reckoning of the intersection of the global game and global politics. It's, like, educational.
UPDATE: In further news from the strange (but sort of awesome) parallel universe of the VIVA World Cup (which awards a bauble with the excellent Soviet-ish name Trophy for the Freedom of Peoples), Pitch Invasion reports that Umberto Bossi, head of Italy's separatist Northern League, showed up to cheer on the Cup-winning side "Padania." The fact that Bossi is a minister in the current Italian government notwithstanding, etc.