Stories about Brazil

When street children can don national colours to represent Pakistan

It was a sweltering Saturday afternoon, when a group of young street children stopped to watch another group of children play football on a playground in New Karachi. The sport had captured their young imagination and they looked at the game longingly. The coach noticed these children – who were seemingly returning from garbage collection – and asked them to join in the football practice. They rushed forth with excitement and realised that the children they were playing with were ‘street children’ as well. This made them feel comfortable and so they played their hearts out. This was a practice session of Street Strikers Football ...

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Brazil, Baldia and the importance of empathy

The nightclub fire in Brazil that claimed close to 250 lives inevitably brought back memories of the garment factory fire in Baldia. The sheer horror of it, the pain of the weeping families and the apparent negligence and mismanagement by the nightclub owners all brought back to mind the tragedy that occurred in Karachi on September 11, 2012. As with the factory inferno, fire codes had been ignored, emergency exits had been blocked and, in essence, the terrible catastrophe could easily have been avoided in Brazil as in Baldia. Then the similarities ended. Brazilian President Dilma was on a state visit to Chile and ...

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Formula 1: Is Vettel the next Schumacher?

The Formula 1 (F1) season came to end with a race in Brazil, Sao Paulo, with Sebastian Vettel coming out victorious, with his third consecutive F1 title, for the Red Bull racing team. This could be a legend in the making.

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates winning the world championship with his team after finishing sixth in the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo November 25, 2012. Photo: Reuters

The 25-year-old driver is the youngest triple champion of the world and also the youngest in the 63 seasons of the ...

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Making friends in the new world order

“We need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles” (Statement of Principles, Project for the New American Century, June 3rd, 1997) While reading this statement, one inevitably notices the emphasis on the word “our.” Besides, when the US President says “God Bless America”, one wonders, “Ok, God Bless America…but what about the rest of us?” These are the questions that arise in the minds of Pakistanis and these are the concerns that Hillary Clinton attempted to address (quite unsuccessfully) in her recent charity trip to Pakistan. Today, America stands at ...

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Kicking off the World Cup: The contenders, part II

So much has been written and said about the World Cup already that this latest blog post may seem an unnecessary addition; then again, not everyone obsessively follows football and for the sake of the average non-footie-mad person, let’s try to recap the events of the past week. Continuing with the theme of describing how pre-tournament favorites have fared so far, we come first to Italy, a team that seems to be stuck in 2006. Not only for its persistence with players who have long since faded and a coach asked to repeat the ultimate in footballing success, Italy’s whole ...

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Three old men intent on ruining the World Cup

In the modern game of football, it is argued that national team coaches can only do so much. The players, after all are all (theoretically) at the top of their game. They all belong to club sides which keep them in shape and hone their skills and the national team coach is little more than a cheerleader, tagged along for the ride, watching them do their thing. This is mind numbingly blithering and gut wrenchingly wrong. For proof, I provide you with three exhibits, each seemingly intent on taking something beautiful, and ruining it. Exhibit A is our old friend Diego, coaching ...

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Pakistan’s unhealthy focus on US, UK, India

Pop quiz: do you know Pakistan’s Ambassador to Chile, Malaysia, Venezuela, Brazil, or Russia? It is very likely that you don’t and, there is a reason – these countries don’t get adequate visibility in Pakistan. Hussain Haqqani (USA), Wajid Shamsul Hassan (UK) and, Shahid Malik (India) are the few ambassadors that Pakistani media finds relevant, relegating all others to secondary and tertiary positions. Every country has their list of top 10, top 25, top 50, and “rest of the world” often referred to in international parlance as “ROW” but Pakistan’s foreign policy lacks depth and width. At the United Nations in New York, ...

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World Cup fever: Spain, your time has come

Forget the fact that the country’s domestic football structure is in crisis, with the Primera Division breaking away from the rest of the league, and within that division two teams dominating both play and income to the point that their next challenger, Valencia, was a spectacular 25 points behind them. Twenty five points. That’s just ten less than relegated Xerez managed all season. No, forget the epic battle for footballing supremacy that left both Barca and Real Madrid with a points total that was “freakin’ barbaric”, according to Barca coach Pep Guardiola, because now it’s time for the World Cup, where ...

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