Last year we pointed to the fact that sports commentators, statisticians and journalists can’t distinguish the Democratic Republic of Congo (the DRC) from its neighbor the Republic of Congo every time they talk about NBA basketball player Serge Ibaka. He was born in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, normally referred to as Congo-Brazzaville, not the DRC or what used to be known as Zaire (until 1997) and now commonly referred to by its initials or as Congo-Kinshasa. The only thing the two countries share is a river: the Congo (yeh, that river which Conrad fictionalized). Earlier this week Deadspin, the American sports blog, pointed out that ESPN lists Ibaka’s birthplace as “Brazzaville, Zaire.” At least they know that Zaire still existed when Ibaka was born in 1989. But again it is the wrong country. Today I noticed they just deleted his country and his birthplace is now only listed as “Brazzaville.” So now he has no country.
Anyway, he acquired a Spanish passport last year and now plays for Spain in international tournaments.