Columnist

Scott McIntyre

Scott has travelled extensively throughout Asia, bringing unrivalled knowledge of the region's complex football landscape. He has covered two FIFA World Cups and four Asian Cups.

136blog entries

Wanderers rise is Asia's gain Down Under

One of the broader benefits of Western Sydney Wanderers' participation in the final of the AFC Champions League is the exposure it has given some Asian football clubs we would not normally hear anything about.
One of the great things about Western Sydney Wanderers's run to the ACL final has been the opportunity it has afforded not just the football community here but the wider sporting fraternity, to witness some of Asia's finest club sides first-hand....

The Asian force that is Al Hilal

It’s been fascinating – if not a little absurd – to watch the Australian public and media scrambling about to ‘'discover' one of Asia's grandest clubs this week.
We've had it all; players declaring they don't 'have a clue' as to who Al Hilal is, a local club complaining because of a supposed 'unpaid bill', virtually every report and social media mention featuring a player (Yasser Al Qahtani) who is...

India's super league making global waves

Derided as a flight of fancy when its concept was first mooted, the Indian Super League has launched to record crowds and unprecedented global attention, enhancing its potential as a serious player in football's burgeoning market.
As the A-League, rightly, continues to pat itself on the back after a fortnight of record crowds and hype, it's well-worth noting that another Asian league just a fortnight into its very existence is the one stealing the international limelight....

Remembering the dead

In part five of Football Under Fire, I delve into the events in Palestine over the past few months that have resulted in players, supporters and officials losing their lives while enjoying the sport they love. They are not easy stories to tell,...
Football is the most uncomplicated of sports: a patch of land, a ball, a goal, an opponent and away you go. It's also why it is so loved by so many across so many lands and why, even in the midst or aftermath of the greatest of tragedies, this si...

Susan Shalabi Molano and the fight for equality

AFC Executive Committee member Susan Shalabi Molano has seen the broader struggle involved in football and as a young girl growing up in Palestine saw the specific challenges that presented first hand.
I've lost count of the number of football federation offices I've been in over the past decade or so of travel through Asia. Some – Japan stands out – are multi-story affairs, complete with interactive museums. Most, however, fall into the more h...

The jewel in Palestine's football crown

Australian football fans are about to see first hand why Palestine striker Ashraf Nu'man is being tracked by clubs across Asia and the Middle East. In part three of Football Under Fire, I caught up with Nu'Mun in his small village Wadi Al-Nes.
The road from Ramallah to the tiny village of Wadi Al-Nes passes through several Israeli checkpoints, up and down kilometre after kilometre of nondescript rocky outcrops, until finally you arrive. Maybe you arrive. Wadi Al-Nes looks, to the untra...

From Palestine to Chile and back again

Roberto Kettlun's football odyssey may not culminate with an appearance at next year's AFC Asian Cup in Australia but it's one that goes some way to explaining the power of football in Palestine.
"Do you know how many Palestinians cannot come here because of political problems? Football can bring you here." Here, in the final week of Ramadan, is the bustling West Bank town of Ramallah. I’m at a café just off the iconic Al Manara square w...

Football under fire - A journey through Palestine

The challenge facing Palestine's footballers is not just confined to the pitch. Over the next few days I will share some of the stories, both heartbreaking and uplifting, of a footballing nation largely unknown outside its own region, but one that...
I first met my friend, Munzher, several years ago when I travelled to Palestine to do research for a book I'm writing on Asian football. That day he was working one of his numerous jobs to make ends meet – as many involved in Palestinian football...

The All Stars game is not all it's cracked up to be

Italian champion Juventus has landed in Sydney for the second leg of its Asia/Australia pre-season tour and while tens of thousands of tickets have been sold for Sunday's meeting with the A-League All Stars I'm yet to be convinced of the concept's...
[sbsondemand video="316280899705"] Does anyone seriously believe that a One Direction tour is the way to cure the ills of the Australian music industry? How many people are getting along to The Factory or the Corner Hotel or Ric's Bar in Brisbane...

World Cup shows up Asian football's deficiencies

The Asian Football Confederation's quartet of qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup have all exited Brazil but that does not end the interest in the tournament for Asian football.
As strange as it seems, Asia's remaining hopes of World Cup success lie in the form of a 36 year-old from the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. Ravshan Irmatov is regarded as one of the world’s leading referees and after having taken charge of the openi...