Category Archives: African Cup of Nations

African Soccerscapes

Peter Alegi’s book African Soccerscapes offers a careful account of the place of football in colonial Africa and the important role in played in the process of decolonization. Alegi, a Professor at Michigan State University, also maintains a blog called Football is Coming Home, and recently wrote about the first African Nations Cup. This post… Read More »

The Penalty Shootout: Flaws and Alternatives

Watching last weekend’s African Cup of Nations Final reminded fans everywhere of soccer’s elephant in the room, penalties. The penalty shootout is the one glaring error in a beautiful, near-perfect game. After 120 minutes of battling for each yard and each shot, the game is finally decided by a combination of luck and some level of… Read More »

A Moth for Mali

The Western-most tip of Africa seemed like as good a place as any to watch the Mali vs. South Africa quarter-final in the African Cup of Nations. On Saturday, I was at the Pointe des Almadies in Dakar, a tourist stop and hang-out with a beach carpeted with black stones and hand-holding couples. On offer… Read More »

Palestine on the Pitch

“It is unacceptable that children are killed while they play football.” So declares a statement by 62 professional footballers protesting the recent Israeli actions in Gaza. Posted on the website of Frédéric Kanouté, it includes some of the best known names in global football, notably Didier Drogba and Eden Hazard. It is a striking gesture,… Read More »

Football as Humanity: Zambia 2012

I think all of those who watched yesterday’s African Cup of Nations Final match between Ivory Coast and Zambia share my feeling: we were privileged to be allowed to participate in one of the more remarkable moments in modern sporting history. It was one, of course, that went largely under the radar in the U.S.:… Read More »