AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

FOOTBALL IS A COUNTRY

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Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Christmas Day*

UPDATED: So there you have it. After 120 minutes and a great goal by Mario Goetze (whose name will now be part of German lore like Gert Muller and Andreas Brehme), Germany are World champions. It’s been a magical month. But it is also basically the last time (till the next World Cup in four years)

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Get Your Football T-Shirt On

Last year, while on a visit to LA, Sean met artists Carolyn Castaño and Gary Dauphin at a friend’s house in Echo Park. Of course, conversation veered to futbol. Sean had known about their work for a...

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The Final Report

Today the 2014 World Cup in Brazil ends. It was a fun ride, and I don’t think that anyone will disagree that this has been an unforgettable month of international sport, politics, and drama both on and off...

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Did Cameroon’s police interrogate Samuel Eto’o and take away his passport over the World Cup? Who knows

Did Cameroon’s police really quiz national soccer team captain Samuel Eto’o and seize his passport in connection with a government investigation into the terrible performance of the Indomitable Lions at the World Cup? After brouhaha of claims...

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Thank You, Associated Press

We published “Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey” (to coincide with the World Cup in Brazil) on June 17th. The story included a list of race-colors from a 1976 study done in Brazil. On June 22 the big-time...

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Brazilians are used to this

The Mexican writer Alma Guillermoprieto declared this World Cup “the best ever.” Few can disagree. A total of 136 goals were scored in 48 group matches and another 18 in the 8 matches of the last round....

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Episode #4 (World Cup Special!)

I’m shortening the name of Africa is a Country Radio. From now on (save for when I slip up) the show will be known as Africa is a Radio! This month’s show dives fully (rather than the...

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

No, soccer is not invading America. It’s been here all along

Despite these types of troll-y click-bait articles being a dime a dozen each and every World Cup cycle, Jeff Winkler’s piece in the Guardian, “‘Soccer’ is a virus invading America,” deserves special condemnation for how off the...

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

The American Ending

There can be a logic to loss, but often it feels arbitrary. The ground beneath the losing party is unsteady, uncertain. To go by a number of recent pieces, American sports journalism wishes to fix football and...

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Cote d’Ivoire vs Greece (in Harlem, NY)

It has been a relatively successful World Cup thus far for Africa, save a disappointing Cameroon. Nigeria, Algeria, and Ghana have all enjoyed crucial victories, edging them closer to a rare berth in the knockout round. Many...

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

So then, what does Blackness in Brazil look like?

With the increased attention on Brazil since the Cup started, I’ve noticed non-Brazilians trying to figure out what exactly is going on with Brazilian racial politics. I’ll tell you it’s not an easy task. It’s taken me months...

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

@ChiefBoima World Cup Diary Day 12 – Fatigue

I’ve stopped going to Fan Fests. I’m tired, I didn’t pace myself. A month is a long time, and new arrivals seem to come every day. World Cup tourists have an endless number of substitutions. They’re always...

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Neymar e o burro em fuga

No momento em que você lê este texto, é bem provável que toda pessoa do planeta já saiba quem é Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. A imagem acima é de Neymar, 10 dias atrás. Neymar, há um...

Friday, June 20th, 2014

@ChiefBoima World Cup Diary Day 9 – Padrão FIFA

A four day national holiday that kicked off the cup ended on Monday, so the city has been attempting to return to somewhat of its normal routine. Brazilians have gone back to work, and over the past...

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

A Bronx Story: Ghana vs USA

The fate of World Cup draws has fostered an unlikely rivalry between Ghana and the United States. In 2006, Ghana dispatched the U.S. in Germany. Four years later, in South Africa, the Black Stars sunk American hearts...

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Why is the Wall St Journal trash-talking Ghana already? Go #BlackStars!

It’s World Cup time, bring on the articles full of historical stereotypes and racial codes disguised as insightful sports commentary. For the past two World Cups, the USA team has been routinely decimated by the Ghanaian squads....

Monday, June 16th, 2014

For the Tiki-Taka Brigade

The annihilation of Spain by the Netherlands last Friday (5-1) shocked and delighted football fans, pundits and creatives all at once, so much so that European pundits have something else to talk about, like total football, rather...

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

@Chiefboima World Cup Diary Day 4 – Copa pra Quem?

One of the popular phrases that came out of the protests in the run up to the Cup was, “Copa pra quem”? On the third and fourth days of the Cup, I’ve been darting around to different...

Friday, June 13th, 2014

@Chiefboima World Cup Diary Day 2 – Protests and Fan Fests

I haven’t been on social media yet, and I’m sure everyone’s already talking about this, but how fitting is it that the first goal of the tournament is an own goal by Brazil? I mean four goals...

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

@ChiefBoima’s World Cup Diary Day 1: A Tale of Two Copas

World Cup Day 1 — The sun is out in Rio for the first time in days. It’s a national holiday. Anticipation in the air. I’m woken up to the sound of horns.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Can an African team reach the World Cup semi-finals?

No European nation has won the World Cup when it has been held in South America, and the potential for teams such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay to pose a major challenge should be taken seriously. Although...

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

#HistoryClass: Nigeria’s Super Eagles

Our British colonial masters brought us a lot of good stuff. Stuff such as education, Christianity and corruption, among others. But probably the best thing the Brits brought to us was football. Today, in homage to the...

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The Friendship Between China and Mozambique Will Last Forever Like the Heavens and the Earth

In Maputo, the “Garden for Sculptors” behind the Museu Nacional de Arte on Avenida Ho Chi Minh has become a kind of prison yard for Mozambique’s various Ozymandiases, a semi-public dumping ground where colonial monuments now crumble...

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Ruud Gullit and the Struggle for South African Freedom

Ruud Gullit was more than a total footballer. It was not for no reason that the late Nelson Mandela praised him as ‘a source of tremendous inspiration for young people, not only in Holland or Europe, but...

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The Tragedy of Justin Fashanu, soccer’s first openly gay player

With the ongoing crisis of homophobia in Nigeria, and a succession of high-profile athletes coming out in the past year, it’s well worth remembering Justin Fashanu, the first professional footballer to come out — way back in...

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Football, Art, and its Many Intersections: An Interview with Franklin Sirmans

Shortly after the opening of Fútbol: The Beautiful Game at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) I had the opportunity to speak with the exhibition’s curator, Franklin Sirmans. It was actually three days after the...

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Give that man a Bells

There’s a commercial for Bell’s, a popular South African whisky (“Give that man a Bells”), that is currently doing the rounds on the Interwebs and has a lot of people weeping on Twitter and Facebook. The ad...

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Zoran and his African Tigers

Every new nation (or with claims to nationhood) wants a national football team otherwise you may as well not exist in the first place. Palestine and Taiwan are recognized by FIFA, but not so lucky are Kosovo...

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

New Exhibition at LACMA Devoted to The Beautiful Game’s Global Significance

Today the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Fútbol: The Beautiful Game opens to the public. An exhibition curated by Franklin Sirmans, it is devoted to football’s global position as a “common human experience shared by spectators...

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The “Apartheid-era Robin Hood”

I wrote a long piece on Zola Mahobe, a Soweto businessman who died last December (two weeks after Nelson Mandela) and who is credited with transforming Mamelodi Sundowns. The team is currently one of the “big three”...

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