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Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Steve Menary
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Nov 2007
Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot examines the much tarnished reputation of FIFA, the governing body of world football, and just how they justify the exclusion of some 'nations' from their organisation while welcoming others. For two years, Steve Menary traced the incredible journeys of the teams that FIFA refuse to recognise - either for reasons of political expediency, or because FIFA just believed they could not compete with the likes of Montserrat on the world stage. Intrigued by just why anyone would want to play for such no hoper 'nations', he became drawn into a scene which surprised him in its positive approach to both the beautiful game and nationalism, and eventually resulted in the FIFI (Federation of International Football Independents) 'Wild Cup', featuring teams from officially non-existent countries such as Zanzibar, Greenland, Tibet and Northern Cyprus, being successfully staged in Germany prior to the FIFA World Cup in 2006. Along the way, he discovered the dentist from Greenland who risked his career to play for his 'country', the pitch battle amongst kit manufacturers to sponsor the Tibetan national football team and why the Gibraltan 'national' football team might just force an end to centuries of dispute over the rock between Britain and Spain.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Know the Score Books; illustrated edition edition (30 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905449313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905449316
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 446,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Steve Menary is a freelance journalist and writes on sport and business for magazines including World Soccer and When Saturday Comes and websites, such as PlayTheGame.org

Product Description


Shortlisted for the 2008 NSC football book of the year award

"Outcasts! is a must-read for all football fans." --Sporting Life

"One book to intrigue the discerning reader this Christmas." --Sunday Telegraph

"Buy this!" --The Times

"Menary is an admirably sure-footed guide ... he never loses sight of the human stories ... a gentle meditation not merely on the power of football, but also on what it means to be a country." --Jonathan Wilson, When Saturday Comes

"Lively, informative." --The Independent on Sunday

"There are a great many cherishable anecdotes to be found, and the issues he raises, while often perplexing, are of considerable relevance in international football. Menary is an enthusiast with a talent for getting the best out of his interviewees and a keen eye for the encapsulating episode, such as the time that a Greenland cup semi-final being played on a seaside pitch was interrupted by a tidal wave when an iceberg capsized. --Daily Telegraph

"Thought provoking questions about the nature of national identity." --Four Four Two

Excellent... Outcasts is as good as it gets --Birmingham Post

"Once in a while a book comes along with an unusual subject matter that captures the imagination and Menary's Outcasts falls into that category." --Yorkshire Post

"A thoroughly absorbing and entertaining examination of the issues involved, never threatening to outstay its welcome." --Isle of Man Today

"A fascinating insight." --Guernsey Press & Star

Excellent! --Scotland on Sunday

"Outcasts! is a great book, about the love of the game that makes people want to take part and how FIFA make their odd decisions." --The League magazine

A most underrated read. In the course of 224 pages, Menary embarks on a journey that at the outset appears to encompass only the periphery of the beautiful game, but quickly transcends into an absorbing study of football's global pulse. Beyond the sickly world of lavishly over marketed club brand coverage, the grim realities of life and football's role as an escape are illustrated perfectly here. Outcasts! leads you well away from FIFA's comfort zone with pied piper like Menary the most compelling of guides. Sepp Blatter would not want you to read this book, and that alone should be complete justification for doing so."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for any football fan 17 Oct 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Totally agree with the above review. Its great to read about the lesser nations - or should that be lesser non-nations ! Well written, with a great balance of factual information alongside the authors own tales. Much better value for money than much of the dross on the shelves in your local WHSmith.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating survey 4 Jan 2008
While confessing an interest - I know the author Steve Menary - I can honestly say that this is an excellent book. At a time when football is increasingly dominated by money, Steve has travelled to countries ranging from Greenland to the Channel Islands to find people excluded from the mainstream but with more passion for the game than a whole host of Premiership stars. It's an insight into the politics at the margins of the game and a series of portraits of people and places I knew nothing about. Good for pub quizzes too - do you know who won the inaugural Wild Cup in 2006?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the world of forgotten football lands 26 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Steve Menary's book, OUTCASTS, can be recommended for anyone who loves football. The book gives a rare insight into a football world that usually does not get much attention in the international media. The book is about the lands that the world governing body of football, FIFA, does not accept as members. The denial of existence by FIFA does not stop these countries from playing football no matter what it takes and how remote these places are. The core of the book is therefore about the true love to the beautiful game.

The book contains so many fascinating stories, that it is difficult to pick one single out. One of my favorite is the story about football on the Falklands Islands, where the passion for football and politics are mixed together. The story about Chris Clarke, who went to take a trial in Boca Juniors, is an intersting example of this mixture. Another fascinating story is about the football in Greenland, where players have to travel long dangerous distances to play football matches, which sometime has tragically consequences.

OUTCASTS is also a very topical. The tiny British colony, Gibraltar, is at the moment trying once again to become a member of UEFA. Gibraltar's membership will be taken up to account at the UEFA Congress in 2013, when all UEFA's members will vote on whether Gibraltar will receive a membership or not. This is certainly not the first time Gibraltar is trying to become member of UEFA. The book describes very well Gibraltar's attempt in 2007 to become a member of UEFA, but where the football giant, Spain, threatened to boycott UEFA if Gibraltar was given a membership.

For me personally the book, Outcasts, is very interesting. I come from the Faroe Islands, which is not an independent nation under the UN.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot by Steve Menary is a must read for anyone interested not just in football but in people, politics and the world at large.

Steve travels around the world and speaks to people involved at the bottom of the international football pyramid getting to know how a man from Denmark started up the Tibet national team, a German comedian organizing an alternative world cup and a Dad who initially just wanted to raise a team for his son to play for but ended up starting a national football team.

If you are intrigued by the world of Football outside of FIFA, away from the mega rich in the Premier League or La Liga then I cant highly recommend Outcasts enough.

Some of the places covered by Outcasts you may never of heard off but after reading this you will know all about football in the likes of Zanzibar, Vatican City, Kosovo or the Northern Marianas Island.

It may be a couple years since this book was launched but the issues and stories told in this book are still important and relevant today. Their is also a number of great photos inside the book which lets you see for yourself the great characters involved in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars States of Play 16 Jun 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Steve Menary's excellent `Outcasts! The Lands that FIFA Forgot' is a tour around the lands excluded by Sepp Blatter's organisation, and their attempts to try and play fixtures, create and attend tournaments, and develop the beautiful game. These attempts often threatened and thwarted by both FIFA, and international politics, are documented by Menary; but he doesn't let either Blatter's organization, or politics, obscure the varied football stories of the text. Taking in areas as diverse as Zanzibar, the Isle of Man and North Cyprus, Menary's study is both in-depth and informative, as well as being commendably unsentimental. He refuses to romanticise the grim conditions of some of the grounds he visits, and to paint everything parochial as positive; something which few books on lower-level football manage. The potted histories and social reflections of the book also provide interesting reading, from British sovereignty in Greek Cyprus, referendums in Gibraltar, and bringing together the ethnic divisions of previously war-torn Kosovo; and these reflections never take the book off the topic of football for too long. Menary has also managed to interview a number of both coaches and players in the book, meaning that we get a first-hand account of things like Sami traditions and Northern Cypriot identity, from the people who know best about it.

There are a few flaws within the text. Though Menary is a thorough and solid narrator, and rightly refuses to romantically poeticise the situations these sides are in, the book seems to lack a bit of passion, and he doesn't seem too enthralled by the football he sees (though admittedly much of it is of a relatively poor quality). Secondly, the book has a number of grammatical errors, which prove an annoyance whilst reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book about stats
I liked the premise of this book but felt it was more about the fixtures and results rather than the stories about these Micronations struggles against the might of FIFA. Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. Savage
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read from the non-FIFA world
It is an odd thing it turns out, the definition of a country. What seems such a simple idea of nationhood can end up in a right royal mess when looking at some of the more... Read more
Published 6 months ago by The Sports Book Review
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money
Started of well and had the potential to be a very interesting read but soon devolved into meaningless tat. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Stu Camps
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!
This is the perfect book for people like me who love learning about football in the world's most obscure and isolated areas. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Callum
5.0 out of 5 stars Great job
What a pleasure to read "Outcasts !", which reflects how massive is Menary's knowledge about a topic which hasn't been well developed in other written sources. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Magis
5.0 out of 5 stars Tired of the same old football stories; Read outcasts
Steve Menary is not your usual sportswriter. His articles are not about the "powerful" Manchester United or the "magnificent" Barcelona. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Konstantinos K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Off-beat and interesting
A well-written book that unearths untold stories from around the world. Recommended for football fans who prefer the game off beat and stripped back, rather than mass-produced and... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book.
Steve Menary's work provides a unique insight into non-FIFA football and is a wonderful reflection of the fact that football is the world's game. Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2012 by Dennis B
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Insight
Steve Menary's book takes in a whole host of 'countries' that are not included on FIFA's official list and therefore are not permitted to play international football. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2012 by Mark Tong
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Outcasts
If you only buy one book on the beautiful game this year, buy this one by Steve Menary......it's absolutely first class. Read more
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by Chris Joyce
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