Author Archives: Laurent Dubois

About Laurent Dubois

I am Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University. A specialist on the history and culture of France and the Caribbean, notably Haiti, I am the author of Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France. I founded the Soccer Politics blog in the Fall of 2009 as part of a Duke University course called "World Cup and World Politics," whose students helped me develop the site.

Football and Accusation

Last Tuesday Haiti’s Under-17 National Football team was sent home from Jamaica after two players and a coach were diagnosed with malaria. The decision was presented as a public health measure — the Jamaican public health ministry described the sickness as “imported” — and resulted in an effective forfeit for the team from the CONCACAF… Read More »

Zidane Goes Home for Qatar

I found this video, produced by the Qatar bid, to be a fascinatingly constructed piece of work, transforming Zidane’s biography into an endorsement of the need for a Middle Eastern World Cup. In it, Zidane returns to his childhood home and talks about his career, and repeatedly refers to the difficulties he faced because of … Read More »

Elsewhere

Well, the votes are in, the decision is made, and all the blandishments of Clinton and Morgan Freeman have failed: we won’t be having a World Cup here any time soon. I’ll try and get over my initial disappointment: I’ve lately been having bucolic daydreams about a nice summer 2022 (yes, we actually do plan… Read More »

Kicking the Silence

A few days ago, before the U.S. Women’s Team’s first game against Italy in World Cup qualifying, Abby Wambach told the New York Times that the (obviously slightly bitter) joke on the team was that they had to do badly this year in order to get media attention. “The irony of the whole thing is… Read More »

World Cup Debriefing Featuring Achille Mbembe

The video for the World Cup Debriefing we held here at Duke a few weeks ago is now available here. Achille’s reflections on the meaning of the event for South Africa (the second presentation) are excellent. I’d welcome your thoughts and reactions!

Watching Ghana Beat the U.S. with Mick and Bill

Courtesy of Grant Wahl’s twitter feed, here’s another take on one of the defining moments of the World Cup: the Ghana-U.S. game as viewed by Mick Jagger, aptly tagged “bad luck charm” by Wahl. You can read my account of this game as seen from Johannesburg here, and travel to the streets of Accra that… Read More »

Samba Football, German Style

Although many of you have perhaps seen this, I never had before: it made me recall with nostalgia the show Soccer Made in Germany,which provided many of us here a brief flash of the joys of European football as youths lost in 1970s U.S.. Here: our German friends provide perhaps the most surreal ode to… Read More »

Karim!

France, happily (for me at least) continued it’s strong run in Euro qualifiers with a convincing victory over Luxembourg, which is reassuring since the team has a bit of tradition of wasting such games with draws. The first goal by Benzema was a beauty.