Inside the new issue:
The 48-team World Cup will showcase inferior soccer and make a lot more money than the current format. And a leaked internal document, published here for the first time, proves that FIFA knows it.
Issue 13 is built around three stories about how soccer is governed on a global and local level.
First up: Investigative reporter Jamil Chade’s look into the Infantino Era, which shows some troubling similarities to Sepp Blatter’s FIFA. We publish for the first time a copy of the planning document presented to the FIFA Council ahead of its vote to expand the 2026 World Cup to 48 teams.
A compendium of the minor tweaks, wholesale changes, lasting improvements, and utter failures that successive generations of administrators have made to the rules of soccer.
Noah Davis profiles Sunil Gulati, the college professor who has become the most influential American in global soccer.
The issue kicks off with Ryu Voelkel’s photographs from European soccer. Here, Francesco Totti walks out onto the field at the Stadio Olimpico for his final match.
The members of Beitar Jerusalem’s La Familia ultras pride themselves on being the “most racist” fans in Israel, and they’re a big reason that Beitar is still the only Israeli club never to field an Arab. But their hateful practices finally caught up to them last year when dozens of La Familia members were arrested in a sting operation that resulted in drug and weapons charges.
A profile of several fan-owned and fan-invested clubs, including Detroit City FC and FC United of Manchester.
In December, the New York Cosmos had another near-death experience. Howard Megdal provides the blow-by-blow account of how head coach Giovanni Savarese dismantled his team and then put it back together within a matter of months.
A weight-loss program is helping men across the U.K. shed pounds on the soccer field.
Also in the issue:
- The Oving and District Villages Cup has been contested by the small towns within a 12-mile radius of Oving, about an hour north of London, since 1889
- Bobby Warshaw writes about the feud with his manager at FC Dallas that ultimately resulted in his move to Sweden—a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of player-coach relations of the kind that rarely becomes public.
- An excerpt from Dennie Wendt’s comic novel, which melds an alternative-history 1970s American soccer league with a plot involving Soviet spies
- MLS turns 21 this year, so we put together a baby album collecting some of our favorite moments in the life of the young league
- Sometimes, Gigi Buffon seems like he has six hands
- A statistician weighs in: Is the Premiership really the most exciting league in the world?
- The case for silence in televised soccer
- Mexico’s referee rebellion
112 pages. 9x12 inches. Printed in Missouri. Price includes shipping.