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A master of bling with feline style

Writing just after the 2011 Africa Cup of Nations,  Achille Mbembe* looks at what makes Samuel Eto’o so lethal He is not yet 25 years old, but he is already one of the finest attackers in the world. His football culture is a mix of raw, unfettered talent (the kind that comes along once every […]

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Melanie Boehi discusses how, for politicians, sports tournaments such as the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup in 2010 serve as magical image-production machines and informal meeting space, where work is disguised as play and play disguised as work. Hosni Mubarak was among the first to congratulate Egypt’s national team upon its […]

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By Abdourahman A. Waberi* (translated by Carolyn Shread). A small coastal town on the southern shore of the Red Sea, one market evening. There’s a crowd in the main square, deep in darkness, in this market town that lives by the rhythm of night tides and moonlight. The monsoon is at the city gates, herding its […]

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Why Ethiopia won the World Cup in 2034

Deji Bryce Olukotun recalls the arc of history-in-the-making that results in a meteoric rise in the fortunes of Ethiopia and more pertinently, its national football squad.   2016 The Ethiopian national team finishes with its worst showing ever in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, scoring no goals and securing no points. Across the seas, US […]

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Sports Chatter

Simon Kuper discusses the drivel in the drip-feed that is mainstream sports journalism – from rumour and innuendo to occasional smut and toilet humour. The consumer, he argues, is now the consumed, in an arena of social media and sports talk radio – where talking about sport has become ‘independent of sport itself’, and men […]

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The Lexicon of Love

The language of football is arguably nowhere more verbose and loquacious than in Brazil – full of the picturesque and partisan, the witty and fantastical. It is where, as James Young writes, the nexus between the twists of life on and off the pitch is revealed. Look behind the words and you might find the […]

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