For a while we’ve dabbled with sports blogging on Africa is a Country; i.e. pieces on John Terry, Didier Drogba, black jockeys and, now and again, when we’ve compiled one of our beloved lists. But now we’ve decided to try to up the ante and today we’re launching (with not much fanfare since we still need to convince you about how excellent this will all be, but drumroll please …) a new page on the site: Football is a Country. Once we relaunch with a new design (coming sooner than you think, promise) it will be better organized. The big idea behind the page is to present a more global, postcolonial (for want for a better word) take on world football. The main focus of the page for the foreseeable future will be African football. What that means is quite broad — both the categories of “African” and “football” will be pretty elastic.
As you can imagine, we take into account the forces of migration, media and identity politics. We promise the writing will be witty and insightful, alive to the history of the game and its social and political resonances, and we will not be afraid to make a bit of mischief where necessary. Check out our embryonic Facebook page for a taster of the kinds of things we’ll be covering.
The timing is perfect: this Saturday, January 19th, sees the start of the African Cup of Nations (we’ll explain why Zambia only gets to be cup holders for one year in a follow-up post).
Like AIAC, Football is a Country is going to be a collaborative effort, and (in true Africa is a Country tradition) we’ve already roped in a stellar cast of contributors. Also watch out for more football (for the Americans: soccer) tweets at the Africa is a Country account.
Football is a Country Editors, Elliot Ross and Sean Jacobs