AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Songs for Chipolopolo (or Africa Cup of Nations Playlist N°4)

By Charles Mafa* It’s death or glory today for defending champions Zambia, who must beat Burkina Faso to make it to the quarter-finals. Anything less will be a major disappointment. Just in case the Chipolopolo boys need a confidence booster ahead of the big match, and so that they remember what this means to the

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Afcon 2013 Preview: Can Ghana’s Black Stars Win its First Nation’s Cup since 1982?

This edition of the Africa Cup of Nations promises fans of Ghana’s Black Stars potential thrills but also raises the specters of recent failures. The Black Stars (they play the Democratic Republic of Congo today in their...

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Afcon 2013 Preview: Bamako expects experienced Mali team to go far

Guest Post by Samira Sawlani* We won’t be surprised if Malians don’t care much for football right now as conflict ravages through the country’s north and east (separatists and Islamists are occupying much of the north of...

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Africa Cup of Nations Preview: Cape Verde’s Blue Sharks ready to make a big splash

By Amílcar Tavares* Almost one fifth of Cape Verde’s population would fit in the stands of The Calabash, the 95,000-capacity stadium where the Blue Sharks will today play their first ever Africa Cup of Nations match. Being recognised...

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Our African Cup of Nations 2013 predictions

So first we gave you the back story. Now here’s our official predictions for the African Cup of Nations 2013. We’ll have more detailed team profiles by fans of each country coming up in the next few...

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

An ode to Benni McCarthy

“Why the f**k did he not do that at West Ham!!!” reads a YouTube comment in response to the video clip above featuring Benni McCarthy’s superb free kick in the 2011 Telkom Cup quarterfinal between Orlando Pirates...

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

The loneliness of the Kenyan long distance runner

Xan Rice, the West Africa correspondent for Financial Times, has a piece in the most recent issue of The New Yorker (unfortunately you need a subscription) about the sensational, but short, career of the late Kenyan marathon runner,...

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Drogbacite

There are some matches that end up seeming primarily the vehicle for one person to somehow attain mythical status. The Champions League final between Chelsea and Bayern was written, it seems now, purely to allow Didier Drogba...

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

The 10 best goals scored by African players in the Premier League

Ever since Rupert Murdoch invented football in 1992 (see Fivers passim), African players from all over the continent have lit up the English Premier League and helped turn the competition into a continent-wide obsession. (Just last week,...

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Fabrice Muamba and English football

British football isn’t known for its compassion, and it’s already been an explosive season of racist slurs and handshakes denied. But the recent collapse of Fabrice Muamba, a midfielder for Bolton Wanderers, has shown a different side...

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

‘Banana republic’

World Soccer magazine explains Russian football’s anti-racism strategies: Anzhi Makhachkala have expressed their disappointment over an “idiotic” banana throwing incident involving recent signing Christopher Samba. The Congolese defender had a banana thrown at him from the stands...

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

‘Grounding Air Congo’

Diamond dealers and mobile phone executives can relax. We’re talking American professional basketball. Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks recently dunks the ball on the head of Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Remember Ibaka? The...

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Football: The 11 Commandments of Rigobert Song

When the good Lord handed down the Decalogue to Moses atop Mount Sinai, he limited himself to just the ten commandments. The new boss of Cameroon’s national football team, Rigobert Song, is obviously more demanding.

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

The Lagos preacher and the football final

When it comes to football punditry, hindsight is the easy way out. So while your very own and brave AIAC published a  top 10 list of African footballers who could emerge this year way back in early January,...

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

NBA player Serge Ibaka has no country

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...

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Germany has a version of GQ magazine

A woman in Germany removes her clothes and poses for a magazine photographer with her famous boyfriend. Her boyfriend’s father happens to be Tunisian and the pictures are reprinted in Tunisia. Three journalists are arrested in Tunis...

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Everybody wants in on the final

Some coupe decale to warm you up for the African Cup of Nations final later today between Cote d’Ivoire (the favorites) and Zambia (the team everybody is rooting for). Here, here and here are some links to...

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Surfer dude

Surfing as leisure and a sport has historically been associated with whites in South Africa, though that’s not necessarily true in practice. In fact a few documentary films (for example, “Taking back the waves“), the new feature...

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Chipolopolo

Everyone wanted to see Cote d’Ivoire play Ghana in the African Cup of Nations final on Sunday. A heavyweight clash between the two West African giants, it held the promise of a meeting of “golden” generations. The...

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

In Praise of Mohamed Aboutrika

My brother, Karim, does a guest post on Mohamed Aboutrika, the 2008 BBC African Footballer of the Year, and arguably one of Egypt's greatest players as well as a hero off the field. He announced his...

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The African Cup of Nations Commercials

A sample of some of TV commercials, including ones I have spotted online, made specifically for the 2012 African Cup of Nations football tournament.

Monday, February 6th, 2012

JM Coetzee’s Cricketing Life

It was with some intrigue that my J.M. Coetzee google alert recently informed me that the elusive author had published something new; this time, apparently, in a contribution to a book celebrating, of all things, Australian cricket.

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Super Bowl Predictions

 I am trying to avoid the media blitz on the Superbowl and anybody keen to enthuse about all the “amazing” commercials. But sometimes I can’t look away. One trope gets me every time. It involves The New...

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Of Football Underdogs and Politricks

The knockout phase of the Cup of Nations started this weekend and by next Sunday we’ll have a new champion. Events in Port Said, along with the Zimbabwean match-fixing scandal have made it a dreadful week for...

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

The ‘football riot’ in Egypt

On Wednesday, after Al Masry beat Al Ahly 3-1, attackers armed with knives and clubs stormed the pitch. Whether the armed crowds were only Al Masry Ultras or not is still being debated–after all, why attack the...

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Some African Cup of Nations History

This item, below, from The Guardian’s (excellent) Sports Blog’s weekly round-up of Youtube videos (basically random stuff they dug up from the history of sports) can help get you into the mood for today’s last first round...

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Where do footballers playing in the top five European leagues come from?

The CIES Football Observatory in Switzerland (they study football) recently put out an interactive map trying to show where footballers playing in the top five European leagues come from. Unsurprisingly, West Africa’s big five -...

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Political Football in Egypt

Remember way back when in 2011, when I shouted out Egypt’s crazed football fans for kicking ass during and after the fall of Mubarak? Well, in honor of the upcoming protests marking one year since the initial...

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The African Cup of Nations preview

The 28th edition of the African Cup of Nations kicks off in Gabon and Equitorial Guinea tomorrow. 16 teams–including the joint hosts who did not have to qualify–will play for 2 places in the final match scheduled...

Monday, January 16th, 2012

The French advantage

Academic and soccer fan Andrew Guest previews the 2012 African Cup of Nations for Football is Coming Home. He points to the French influence on teams that qualfied for the finals that start later this week. The...

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