AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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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 mark it is despite its boilerplate ‘ironic not ironic’ facade.

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...

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...

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

A Hollywood studio is making a film about Pele

Dramatic films about football–with few exceptions, say “Sixty Six” or “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation“– are usually a bust. It seems hard to recreate on-field action or to make connections to larger themes about the...

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Watching the Africans Cup of Nations at an Ivorian restaurant in Harlem

Acting on a tip from an Ivorian diplomat on the best location to watch Les Éléphants play in NYC, we headed up to Harlem to catch the Côte d’Ivoire–Tunisia match early Saturday morning. New Ivoire is a 17-year-old,...

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...

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...

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Drogbacite

This weekend Chelsea play Bayern Munchen in the European Champions League final. One player whose contribution is likely to be decisive is the Ivorian Didier Drogba. Cup finals always end in triumph or disaster, and Drogba has...

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 -...

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Tunisian Coke

The Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) kicked off on Saturday, and things are already getting pretty interesting. Tunisia have beaten Morocco 2-1 last night. With Morocco being one of the favorites in the tournament, the win was...

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...

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

‘Soccer movies about poor, brown people’

Monday, October 31st, 2011

“I don’t go for third terms”

Friday, April 8th, 2011

“Your dad washes elephants, your mother’s a whore”

Tottenham Hotspur fans, reacting in disbelieve to how their team gets annihilated by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the first leg of the teams’ UEFA Champions League semi-final match, pull the race card: Tottenham are unlikely to...

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

No Comment

There’s a labor dispute between the NFL, which runs American football, and players (the fight is really about about greedy owners trying to make lots more money at the players’ expense). This means players have time on...

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The Beautiful Game

Correction: You don’t have to be a football fanatic, be a supporter of the English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur or–for some of this blog’s readers–care whether the club has African players on its books–they have*–but you...

Friday, March 11th, 2011

‘Africa’s First World Cup’ Revisited

We’re allowed to talk about the 2010 World Cup until 2014. Later today our man, historian of African soccer, Peter Alegi, will deliver the keynote address at the 7th Sports in Africa Symposium at Ohio University. Since...

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Sunday Ephemera No. 4

Sean Jacobs This is worth remembering. In 2004 the Liberian footballer George Weah was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the Espys. (For those who don’t care: that’s sports channel ESPN’s versions of the Oscars.) This...

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Represent

If the choice of which team to root for in May 22nd’s  European Champions League final was based on how many African players they fielded, then apparently you should root for Inter Milan. Milan has three players...

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Toto meets Mango Groove

FIFA and the South African organizers of the World Cup yesterday unveiled the official World Cup tune. Sorry K’Naan. You’ll always have Coco Cola. The song, with an “African” beat (trying to figure out from where) and...

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Africa’s World Cup @ The New School

Africa’s World Cup THE NEW SCHOOL, 66 WEST 12TH STREET.  Room 510 Date: May 4, 2010 Time: 3-5 pm FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. The 2010 World Cup is historic: it will be the first time...

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The Messiah

The commentator can’t contain himself. “He is just brilliant. Georgie Best, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff … Incredible little man. He is the best player on the planet.”  Lionel Messi, who will be at the center of Diego...

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Red Bull

As the World Cup nears, I am going to be a bit soccer-centric.  Last week I posted a goal by Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o. Now its the turn of Spain’s Fernando Torres, who for now plays his club...

Monday, April 5th, 2010

The Vuvuzela in the Room

Celebrating the World Cup does not mean we can’t ask hard questions . No, not that the annoying vuvuzelas are banned, but that thousands of informal traders will lose income because of Fifa-imposed “exclusion zones” around stadiums...

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The Special One

Cameroon’s football captain Samuel Eto’o scores for his club Internazionale Milano against Livorno in Italy’s Serie A.

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Grandma Scores

I love these football-playing grandmas from Mafarana in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, bordering Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  About 55 women take part in the games with the youngest 4 years old.    Good for the grandmas. But it...

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The World Cup and the “40,000 Prostitutes”

In 2006 before the last World Cup finals newspapers in Europe were awash with reports that 40,000 prostitutes were being smuggled into Germany.  The women were set to be trafficked from unnamed Eastern European countries. When the...

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

The Third World Cup

I don’t think my man Vijay Prashad would mind me reposting his first in a series of World Cup posts put on Facebook:  “… Herein starts my backgrounder, on football, third worldism and history. This first one is on...

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

‘See You in South Africa 2010′

Marc Baptiste

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

The History of African Football

I’m spending much of my free time (if I have any), watching what I can of the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola. Which is a good time to also catch up on the rich history...

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