As the FIFA Men’s World Cup Qatar 2022 draws to a close, here are some commentaries and multimedia that highlight the globalizing spread of the world’s most popular sport – football (soccer) – from the perspective of fans and nation-states from the Global South, especially from Kerala and India. This post has been inspired by Prof. Stephen Young’s course – The Global Game: Soccer, Politics, and Identity – at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for which I contributed a Guest Podcast on “Indian Football/Soccer”.


Articles & Commentaries

MADHAVAN, N. S., Bhaskaran, & Sherrif, K. M. (1992). Higuita. Indian Literature, 35(5 (151)), 55–64.

Mani, V., & Krishnamurthy, M. (2021). The Work of Sporting Bodies: Football and Masculinity in North Kerala. Verge: Studies in Global Asias, 7(1), 147–169.

Ali, A. (2016). Football in Colonial Malabar: The Introduction of the “Beautiful Game” (1900-1940). Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 77, 748–758.

Column | Why football fervour is a good omen for Kerala | Onmanorama

Lionel Messi’s Argentina, Kerala and the Fifa World Cup – a love story

FIFA fervour turns violent in Kerala as Argentina-Brazil fans clash, video viral

Qatar 2022: A Malayali’s World Cup

Argentina’s biggest fans might be South Asians

The Indian waiter with an ‘encyclopaedic’ knowledge of football

‘Don’t call me a fake fan’

As World Cup fever rises, Kerala’s Qatar village cheers ‘land that feeds’ | India News, The Indian Express

How Maradona’s divine goals marked the birth of a schism among Malayali fans – The Economic Times

How to make sense of Kerala’s Brazil-Argentina football frenzy

Ahead of World Cup, soccer-crazy Keralites kick off a cutout war

Kerala’s passion for football and its links to anti-imperialism

Clerics’ diktat fails to douse football fever in north Kerala

Argentina or Brazil? Football fans in India hedge their bets

When Premier Tyres stars were as popular as Mammootty and Mohanlal

Football passion and Kerala!

How Kerala shrunk football to make it its own

Football at midnight: The new sports craze of Kerala

For football-crazy Kerala, FIFA World Cup is its biggest festival

Kerala’s hero, Bengal’s icon: Why Maradona won over two states

How Brazil, Argentina became favourites in Kerala’s timeless love story with football

In India, Fiercely Loyal Soccer Fans (of Brazil and Argentina) – The New York Times


Podcasts, Documentaries & Films

Maitanam – The Story of Football in Kerala


Sudani From Nigeria

Captain: Story of an Unsung Hero


Articles & Commentaries

Pele: When India fell in and out of love with the ‘wizard of football’ – BBC News

Pele and India: how the greatest won over a distant nation

How Indian football was murdered — end of a stirring legacy – The New Indian Express

Why Indians love World Cup football, even without India in it

The salt-water sport

What is ‘phawar’ that Meghalaya sings during the FIFA World Cup?

Football isn’t just Kerala, Bengal, Goa … it’s also Kolhapur

Mohammed Salim: The ‘bare-footed Indian’ who wowed Celtic

Arsenal and Utopia

In the neighbourhood of former Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia


In the Kashmir neighbourhood of Indian football legend Kakroo

Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari: The man who kicked off Indian football

NFL: When Indian football took the first step towards professionalism | Football News – Times of India

Why India lacks a football culture

‘Our team will win’: how so many Indians started supporting Argentina | Football | The Guardian


Podcasts, Documentaries & Films

Mohun Bagan: Indian Football vs British Imperialism

A Football Story from the World’s Most Militarized Zone

Indian Football

Barefoot Boys

The Indian Football Story | The World Is Yours To Take | Chapter 1

The Indian Football Story | The World Is Yours To Take | Chapter 2

The Indian Football Story | The World Is Yours To Take | Chapter 3

Kick Off | Captain Fantastic




Articles & Commentaries

Asian and African nations’ progress and future prospects

The globalisation of football: Closing performance gaps among countries, By Yusuf Bangura

In the World Cup, when Brazil wins, Haiti wins

Lessons from Qatar: Are Asian Teams Edging Closer to Soccer’s Top Table?

Why Qatar’s World Cup has been a magnificent success

Qatar’s World Cup Teased a Surprise Outcome, but It’s Very Much Still for the Global Elite | Sports Illustrated

Arab football is the winner in a truly global game | Arab News

Messi’s moment – The Jakarta Post

What Qatar’s World Cup Tells Us About the World in 2022

The Qatar World Cup and a typology of Europe’s anti-Arab racism | MadaMasr

Qatar 2022: A truly global World Cup

The Qatar World Cup was a victory for Arabs too…

The impact of Morocco’s historic run at the World Cup | PBS NewsHour

Asian highs at Qatar World Cup

The outsiders of world football… the Asian football story

Morocco’s World Cup Run Was a Political Game Changer for North Africa

Why Qatar 2022 was also Africa’s World Cup

France, football, colonialism: Take the best, leave the rest

Lionel Messi’s win is a triumph of genius and tolerance

The Atlas Lions kindled a sense of belonging in Europe

How Lionel Messi’s ‘bisht’ exposed Western media’s racism again

Analysis: Six key takeaways from the Qatar World Cup

Why Qatar 2022 was also Africa’s World Cup

Bangladeshis, Argentina’s biggest fans, gear up for final

Morocco was the World Cup feel-good story we needed

Morocco’s World Cup success sparks a debate about Arab identity

Morocco’s World Cup win lifts a legion of Arab fans

Arab rivalries set aside for Morocco’s World Cup run

Morocco’s World Cup journey is over after France defeat but we will never forget them

How Morocco’s unlikely World Cup success unified Arabs

For African fans, legendary Morocco feat means ‘sky is the limit’

How Morocco gave people from global south the power to believe

France Vs Morocco World Cup Semi-Final Is Getting Political | Time

More than half of Morocco’s World Cup squad were born abroad. What will their success mean for other African diaspora players? – ABC News

FIFA World Cup | A politically charged semifinal in France vs Morocco – The Hindu

Walid Regragui is setting the pace for Africa’s football ambitions | The ICIR

Morocco’s World Cup success and sorrow of a Bangladeshi migration-seeker’s family

Morocco’s World Cup victories are historical revenge for subaltern dreamers from the global south

World Cup 2022: Could Morocco win for Africa? – BBC News

World Cup 2022: Palestine beats Israel on football’s big stage

World Cup 2022: Why Morocco’s win over Spain means so much to me

Morocco are rewriting what football means to an African Muslim like me

Is World Cup 2022 moving football’s future further east?

Is Morocco redefining Africanness? – Daily Trust

Morocco’s foreign-born contingent deliver at Qatar World Cup

It’s Not Just Football: Morocco’s win over Spain at Fifa World Cup is symbolic of the rise of Africa and the Global South

Why Europe and South America dominate World Cup | Football News – Hindustan Times

Morocco breaking Europe and South America stranglehold – DW

Why underdog Morocco is ‘the Rocky of this World Cup’ – Los Angeles Times

Morocco’s World Cup fairy tale a ray of hope for underdeveloped | Daily Sabah

With Morocco leading, the World Cup tide is tilting against Europe – The Washington Post

Spotlight Africa at the FIFA World Cup, but darkness lurks underneath – The New Indian Express

Mercenaries? No, Morocco loves their ‘plastic’ players

Palestine Is All Over The World Cup | Defector

The politics of the magical game!

Has the Qatar World Cup begun reflecting the shift in geopolitics?

Morocco Has Given the Arab World Something to Cheer for Again

Morocco are the first-ever African semifinalists of the World Cup. Here’s what geographical data tell us about this result

The Power of History

Africa’s World Cup: how a continent that usually underperforms finally got it right

An unfamiliar trope: On African, Asian nations’ performance at Qatar World Cup

World Cup final 16: African performances mark a definitive moment in football

Diverse World Cup knockout stage a leap forward for Africa and Asia

Opinion | Why the World Cup Belongs in the Middle East – The New York Times

Something Remarkable Is Happening in African Football

ANALYSIS: World Cup of the underdogs – Newspaper – DAWN.COM

Commentary: With Japan and Saudi Arabia upsets at World Cup, Asian football is showing it can compete with the best – CNA

FIFA World Cup 2022 | Beware the Asian march – The Hindu

Ringside view by Tushar Bhaduri: World in the Cup

Asian And African Teams Have Best Ever World Cup Group Stage

FIFA World Cup 2022 – Qatar World Cup: Home truth for old order – Telegraph India

How Europe Decides Who Wins the World Cup

World Cup 2022: Capitalism can’t kill football — try as it might

Numbers game: Should Africa have more teams at the World Cup?

2022 World Cup: Asian teams an emerging force against football giants – BBC Sport

Asian football on the rise

Why We’re Watching Japan and South Korea at the World Cup

Morocco Win Brings Cheers Heard Across Africa and the Middle East

A postcolonial World Cup showdown for the ages

Opinion: How Morocco’s World Cup run goes beyond sports

The (African) Arab Cup

World Cup 2022: Morocco’s success sparks debate about Amazigh erasure | Middle East Eye

World Cup 2022: ‘Finally football smiles back at Arabs’ – BBC News

Are Moroccans Arab or African? Geopolitics, football, and the future of Africa

FIFA World Cup 2022: The spirit of football and a beautiful solidarity

Asian, African fans relish ‘affordable’, close-to-home World Cup

Qatar’s World Cup is a festival of cosmopolitanism — not nationalism

How Qatar 2022 gave home game advantage to the Global South – Doha News

Taking the temperature of the Middle East’s World Cup

The World Cup has always been a political football – spiked

Qatar and the bonfire of the virtue-signallers – spiked

Survival and the distraction of soccer

Qatar World Cup: Has politicisation undermined the beautiful game? | Middle East Eye

Qatar World Cup 2022: The beautiful game meets ugly western bigotry | Middle East Eye

Bangladesh and the Qatar World Cup – The Diplomat

Qatar World Cup 2022: Palestine 1, Israel 0 | Middle East Eye

Qatar World Cup, alcohol and gays | The Cable

What the West gets wrong about Qatar’s World Cup – Asia Times

Football, The Global Binder| Countercurrents

Qatar World Cup: White outrage, colonialism and a game of capitalist greed | Middle East Eye

World Cup 2022: What’s behind the sustained condemnation of Qatar? | Middle East Eye

Qatar World Cup: Western hypocrisy knows no bounds | Middle East Eye

World Cup 2022: The Middle East’s relationship with football and using the sport as a soft power

World Cup 2022: ‘Hypocrite West’ ignores Qatar’s progress on human rights | TRT World

From Beijing to Qatar: The New Geopolitics of Sports in 2022 | ISPI

Qatar 2022: Western ‘Hypocrisy,’ Politics and the World Cup

FIFA World Cup 2022: Why The West Must Stop Hypocrisy Of Bashing Qatar

A game of two halves: how ‘sportswashing’ benefits Qatar and the west

The massive hypocrisy of the West’s World Cup ‘concerns’

Blinkered morality

Hypocrisy’s penalty corner

The Qatar World Cup is about to shatter colonial myths

World Cup: Africa knows Qatar’s pain and joy

‘Hypocrite reader – my twin – my brother!’

The double standards of Western morality are on show at the World Cup

Qatar World Cup provides rare source of unity to Arab states

Pelé meant the world to us Africans

Pele’s Breakthrough Gave Soccer a Black Star – The New York Times

Pelé and Africa | TheCable

How will Pele be remembered?

Pele: One of the sports greatest, helping to uplift African’s image globally

Pelé was the epitome of Black grace in soccer


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