Ballin’: Sex and the World Cup

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Just how much sex—and with whom—should the players have during the month-long World Cup tournament? read more  ( continue reading

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Of pork joints and the Lord

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The last time I visited Uganda I spent a whole day in a dress. It was the day of my christening and my grandfather, Kaye (his English name was Henry), carried me around proudly…. Now I’m going to see Uganda again, decades later, and, more importantly, as a grown man.  ( continue reading

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The French Caribbean Team

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When the French team takes the field against Uruguay, and later against Mexico, history will be lurking. In 1924 and 1928 the Uruguayans famously took the Olympic football competition by storm, leaving a lot of Europeans wondering, “Where did these guys come from?” One of the starters in that Uruguay team was José Leandro Andrade, the descendent of slaves, who was feted as a star in Paris.  Uruguay’s victories inspired  Frenchman Jules Rimet – former coach, World War I veteran, …  ( continue reading

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Haiti in the World Cup

Manu Sannon and Fidel

In Port-au-Prince there stands – or at least there stood, before the January 12th earthquake devastated much of the city – a mural depicting four great nationalist heroes of the Caribbean: Toussaint L’ouverture, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Emmanuel Sannon. If you don’t recognize the last name, you are not alone, for Sannon’s presence among this group might at first seem a little odd. He’s not a legendary revolutionary hero, but rather a legendary football player, beloved by Haitians but …  ( continue reading

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Masch up: Four reasons why Argentina will win the World Cup

Grant Farred

It’s as it should be: the smart money’s on Spain. Vicente del Bosque’s boys are massively talented. They have the best goalkeeper in the world. And, no, it’s not Iker Casillas. (Can anyone tell me why he’s captain? It has got be a not-so repressed desire for Castilian supremacy, one the coach has to overcome.) The best keeper is Jose Manuel Reina, “Pepe” to Liverpool FC partisans and a shot stopper supreme even though he can be a little flap-happy. …  ( continue reading

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Achille Mbembe on getting the most out of the World Cup

Lameck Nyagudi, On the Square

Hardly anyone is asking questions about citizens’ or popular participation – an ingredient without which there has not been, in recent memory, any successful such event. Not much is done in terms of bringing the event to the communities. Public information about the road map to the Cup itself is still found wanting  ( continue reading

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