Political Football Without Apology

To get away from clichés about African football, maybe you need stop sending sportswriters. Case in point: Political journalist Steve Bloomfield’s new book Africa United: Soccer, Passion, Politics and the First World Cup in Africa, which is only glancingly about actual matches and much more about “what these matches tell us about how Africa works and how Africa is changing” — from the disintegration of Somalia through the eyes of its national team to a mineral magnate trying to recreate Chelsea in the DR Congo. Read it with Ian Hawkey’s Feet of the Chameleon to get a near-perfect portrait of African football. (Alex Usher/Pitch Invasion)

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