Category: Africa

Terminal sadness | Stranded in time, Ghanaian plays football alone

Within Diosdado Macapagal International Airport six miles northwest of Angeles City in the Philippines, Ghanaian footballer Ayi Nii Aryee spends his days in legal limbo, lacking proper paperwork to travel to his destination or back to his point of origin.

He has been living at the airport, the one-time U.S. air base formerly known as Clark Field, since July, sleeping first on terminal chairs and then on a cot provided by the airport’s fire brigade.

2,063 goals, but this was the first | Readings for 17 November 2006

Articles about the first goal scored in a FIFA World Cup and barn swallows at risk from construction on an airport South Africa wishes to add before the 2010 event.

Fabulous Falcons win 5th Africa crown | Readings for 15 November 2006

Articles on the African Women’s Championship, an award for Sepp Blatter and the Luton Town manager’s rant against women linesmen.

The culture cup | Copping awards for purple prose, Icelandic chic and fish graphics

FIFA may have its Golden Boot, but notable performances at the 2006 World Cup finals were not confined to the pitch. We present our awards in musical, advertising and website categories, including an homage to our favorite tonsured French footballer.

Women’s soccer haze | Even with World Cup rush, sex always gets headlines

Evanston, Illinois | We had intended to let this one lie, but a recent posting from Newsweek columnist Mark Starr on the hazing scandal affecting the Northwestern University women’s soccer team made us reconsider. The actions of the players depicted on a vigilante-style website intended to document misbehavior among athletes cross all boundaries of decency. Yet the “girls gone wild” approach that male sports writers have taken in discussing the incident indicates more of a prurient interest in women athletes and their sex lives than genuine concern with misdeeds.

Hail to the Chief | Ntsoelengoe remembered before Absa Cup final

Ntsoelengoe The Soweto-based giants of South African football, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, meet Saturday in the Absa Cup final. The sides face each other in a cup championship for the first time in 18 years. Despite the controversial location in the Kings Park rugby stadium here, 43,000 tickets were gone within minutes of going on sale. […]

Anniversaries | 13 years since Zambian air crash

Ndola, Zambia | Columnist Christeter Macha of the Times of Zambia finds that Africans of many stripes remain scarred by the 28 April 1993 Buffalo CT 15 crash that killed 30 off the coast of Libreville, Gabon, including 18 players of Zambia’s national team. Booksellers, filling-station attendants and journalists testify that the effects of the disaster spread […]

The vital home leg | Freetown players find support for game efforts

Freetown, Sierra Leone | The physical prowess of amputee footballers shows clearly in the pictures and text supplied by Robyn Dixon in last Friday’s Los Angeles Times. The victims of atrocities or other injuries incurred during a 10-year civil war, members of the Single Leg Amputee Sports Club must shed prostheses before taking the field and confront the handicap as well as the prejudices of the able-bodied.

Holding pattern | Immigrants in Spanish enclave turn to fútbol

Melilla, Spain | For a taste of the familiar after months-long journeys by land and sea, football has much to offer hundreds of displaced Africans. Recently the CETI Club de Fútbol started to compete in a 10-team city league in this Spanish enclave on the coast of northern Morocco.

Lens on life | Mathare Valley football offers entrée to squatters’ struggle

Nairobi | Photographer John Barrett Reed traveled in 2005 to the Mathare Valley slums on the eastern edge of Kenya’s capital, hoping to provide new images of Africa for Western audiences who may have become desensitized. He concentrates his lens and writing on a slice of Mathare, home to 600,000 squatters, and uncovers the organic quality of football as […]

Lonely layover | Nigerian supporters gain release from Cairo distress

Ladipo Lagos, Nigeria, and Cairo | The BBC credits Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo with ordering an airlift of some 170 Super Eagles supporters, marooned in Cairo for 15 days following the African Cup of Nations. Thirty-five of the supporters from the Nigerian Football Supporters Club arrived in Lagos earlier today, with the rest to follow. […]

Proverbial wisdom | Elephants uphold reputation as peace workers

Cairo | The Pharaohs triumphed on penalties in the African Cup of Nations today, yet both Egypt and Ivory Coast could point to the final’s cultural signifiers. Football has been credited in the past, sometimes erroneously, with sparking international hostility or bringing peace. The Elephants’ advance in this tournament lays claim to the latter, with southern […]

Politicians | To Mbeki, Bafana Bafana impugns nation’s honor

Kroonstad, South Africa | Even after today’s record-breaking penalty shootout between Cameroon and Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations (Côte d’Ivoire advancing 12–11), we are still thinking about the rough treatment meted out by zealous followers of losing sides. To an outsider, South African President Thabo Mbeki sounded menacing with his excoriation of […]

African Cup of Nations | Never-ending power supply

Conakry, Guinea | With its 3–0 defeat of Tunisia today in the African Cup of Nations, Guinea advances to the final eight as the undefeated winner of Group C. During this surprising run of supremacy, the state-operated power concern, Guinea Electricity, has discovered the importance of maintaining the power grid. Following Guinea’s first-round defeat of South Africa, one man died in […]

Africa | Land of DIY goals

Abidjan, Ivory Coast | The Jules Rimet World Cup trophy has been touring Africa, and the Times of London has tagged along. Fortunately, Owen Slot beats his own path through Angola, Ivory Coast, Togo and Ghana—the continent’s new entries in the 2006 finals—for a five-part series, which began Monday in the newspaper’s weekly football supplement, The […]

Ghana | Making footballs ‘under the neem tree’

Accra, Ghana | Ghanaian writer Cameron Duodu reflects richly on the details of village football-making in his regular column, “Under the Neem Tree,” in the December New African. We took a cigarette tin into the bush and tapped the sap out of a gum tree called ofuntum. If you scraped off the bark of this tree, […]

Impalas’ revenge? | A dream fixture for postcolonialists

A supporter shows the colors after Angola’s 1–0 victory over Rwanda clinched a trip to Germany. (Riccardo Gangale | AP) Luanda, Angola | At some moment on 11 June 2006, an overexercised sports commentator will allude to the colonial history of Angola and perhaps suggest that recompense against opponents Portugal lurks in the minds of the Palancas […]

Courage on crutches | Amputee footballers and the Gospels

Freetown, Sierra Leone | A group of amputee footballers sing of brotherhood, drawing words from the Gospel of Matthew, in a report compiled by Ken Shulman for WBUR of Boston’s Only a Game. The Single-Leg Amputee Soccer Club practices on Aberdeen beach in Freetown, attracting onlookers. Several teams of amputees exist throughout the country, a legacy […]

Holiday blues | Chief problem is the stores

Johannesburg | Players for traditional South African powers Kaizer Chiefs of Soweto might be planning a “stay-at-home Christmas” due to poor recent form, according to Business Day. The Chiefs stand in a tie for sixth in the 16-team Premier league, although just eight points adrift of leading Orlando Pirates with a game in hand. Chiefs have […]

Witch-doctoring | Bathing in chicken blood for the good of the side

Sydney | Now that Australia has ended a 32-year absence from the World Cup finals, comedian and spiritual dabbler John Safran has been extolled for his sacrificial efforts in revoking a Mozambican witch doctor’s curse dating to 1969. The footage of Safran being bathed in chicken blood on the grounds of a Mozambique stadium at which […]

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