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The Invention of African Football

Moses März documents his fleeting orbit of the “African” football scene, from the Afcon 2008 tourney in Ghana to Angola in 2009 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup extravaganza further south. All in all it was brief, expensive, stereotypically Eurocentric and big on defeat. My short-lived career as an African football correspondent began with a […]

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Fighting Shadows

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi hails from a place where the game of ukuqula is part of the fabric of village life, and of the passage from boyhood to manhood over generations. Attempts to contemporise a shadow form, in the realm of organised sport in urban centres of South Africa, have failed, while the play on village ground […]

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By Dominique Malaquais  Tell It To The World April 1st 1974.[1] Before a room packed with reporters, President Mobutu Sese Seko’s Press Secretary, Bula Mandungu, makes an announcement: on September 25th, the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship will take place in Zaire. In the heart of Kinshasa, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman will face off in […]

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Shift The Goalposts Of Disadvantage

By Simon Kuper Every year, in an election you may have missed, Belgian football coaches and journalists vote for the best African player in the Belgian league. The most recent “Ebony Shoe” went to the Senegalese striker, Mbaye Leye, prompting a worldwide chorus of “Who?” If you scan the list of previous winners of the […]

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Ready, Willing and Able

Lolade Adewuyi profiles one of the continent’s most successful football coaches – the Big Boss, as he is widely referred to – and considers the arguments for more faith, more respect and more investment in the abilities of home-grown trainers.  “I would like to dedicate the [AFCON] trophy to all African coaches. We’re not yet […]

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