AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Football is a Country

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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” South African football clubs and is owned by Patrice Motsepe, the best example of a postapartheid oligarch: he

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Boss Player

The BBC news presenter Komla Dumor, who passed away this weekend from cardiac arrest, was an exceptional broadcaster; read Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie’s obit here. Everyone loved him. He was probably the most stylish newscaster also, and was well on his way...

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

The Black Manager

The announcement that Clarence Seedorf will be the new manager of AC Milan in Serie A immediately makes him the highest profile black club manager in the world, right? Though no other black manager has come...

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Thanks to Eusébio, it’s common for European nations’ football fortunes to depend on African players today

Historian Eric Hobsbawn once wrote of the centrality of national soccer teams to national identity in Europe, that "the imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people." And that allows it...

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Lilian Thuram’s Burden

Lilian Thuram isn’t just any footballer; he’s emerged as the game’s moral conscience, not just in the French-speaking world, but more broadly. So much so that recently a packed hall at New York University came to...

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Kwame Nkrumah’s team are going to the World Cup

Despite coming in for plenty of criticism from European and American journalists, Africa’s high-stakes, winner-takes-all World Cup qualifying system once again threw up an enthralling set of matches. The most remarkable result was Ghana’s whopping 6-1 win...

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