Football. Culture. Everything in between

Goaaaaaal!

Site(s) of The Day With the kick-off of the football season North of the border last weekend, and the beginning of the Nationwide season next it's high time Site of the Day took a look at the world of football Web sites.

Barely a month after the end of the World Cup, what better place to start that Osaka, Japan-based Website Soccerphile.com.

A site written by fans for fans, Socerphile.com did a tremendous job in fighting the prevailing media stereotype that football fans = hooligans and played no small part in creating the positive climate that pervaded Japan/Korea 2002. We also enjoyed their hospitality in Osaka, and tips of the best bars/Ramen noodle joints/nightspots to check out while in the town.

The site is packed full of interviews, images and sounds from Japan/Korea 2002 and we're sure it's lively message board will pick up again once the domestic season in Europe kicks off. There's already a lively thread about Euro 2004 and news analysis of off-season transfer moves.

The site contains editorials in Japanese, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese - reflecting the diversity that is Planet Football. Staying with the World Cup theme, the tournament has spawned a variety of games on the Web. One of our favourites is Suwon Shootout, which invites you to change history in memory of Ireland's heroic exit against Spain this summer. Come on you Boys in Green!

When it comes to having a laugh about domestic scene, The Guardian's irreverent Fiver newsletter always makes us chuckle. Required reading.

Perhaps surprisingly, the beautiful game has spawned no shortage of academic analysis. Foremost among these, is Manchester's Institute for Popular Culture where academic study the sociology, psychology and context of the sport. Nice work if you can get it!

The British Council has also stepped into this arena, with analysis of the impact of substitutions on the results of football games. There's more links to Terrace Culture Web sites here.

With the imminent start of the new Premiership season, fans are set to enjoy wider availability of game highlights over the Web. Although it pains me to say it, Liverpool FC is generally regarded as the forerunner in providing this kind of content through its e-season ticket. Premiership rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Leeds United (among others) are also introducing this kind of content.

Google provides a useful series of links to official club sites, and supporters pages and sites - which have proliferated on the Web.

With the plethora of football-related news sites, along with official sites for the Football Association, there's enough information on the Web to keep any armchair fan happy. ®

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