4064
1 min read

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),…..

4317
2 mins read

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,…..

4730
8 mins read

Dear Ann Coulter …

Ann Coulter, an American columnist who makes Richard Littlejohn and Donald Rumsfeld look like easy-going lefties, has finally written about football, having “held off on writing about soccer for a…..

3773
1 min read

Africa is a Radio: Episode 3

Episode 3 of Africa is a Country Radio is live on Groovalizacion and the AIAC Mixcloud page. This month is a music only episode because I had been touring the…..

3776
5 mins read

#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…..

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13 mins read

The Big Boss

“I would like to dedicate the [Afcon] trophy to all African coaches. We’re not yet there, this team has taken just months to build. We will continue building.” It was a surreal moment on the night of 10 February 2013 when Stephen Keshi, the coach of Nigeria’s national football team, uttered those words inside the packed press conference at Soccer City Stadium in Soweto, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Scores of journalists were waiting for a great, perhaps triumphal quote from this man who had charmed the continent over the three weeks of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, with his team of rag-tag soldiers, three-quarters of whom were serving the national squad for the first time. Instead, Keshi said something anti-climactic: “We’re not yet there.”

3515
3 mins read

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 nation, identity politics, institutional violence, capitalism or the romance of the beautiful game. And nowadays professional footballers’ lives off-field can be regimented and organized, drained of any real drama. Mario Balotelli, or before him Lilian Thuram or Eric Cantona are major exceptions.