Politricks in the Stadium                                                                               
By Melani Boehi

“The lack of reporting about politricks in the stadium can partly be explained with the firm division of labour within the journalism profession that separates politics and sports into independent departments.”

For politicians, sports tournaments such as the upcoming African Cup of Nations and the World Cup in 2010 serve as magical image-production machines and informal meeting spaces, where work is disguised as play and play disguised as work. Melanie Boehi reports.

Research material : Article brief & reading list


Football Cannot Go Faster Than Politics                                                     
By Sophia Azeb

“I wore the shirt for Gaza’s children who are suffering…” – Mohamed Aboutrika

Athletes are not immune to their political surroundings and football, in particular, has always been political for those struggling against oppression. But, as Sophia Azeb argues, the continuing relevance of the game to politics needs to be contextualised.

Research material : Reading list


The New Normal                                                                                           
By Gebriella Hakansson
Translated by Sarah Death

“Where do we draw the line between body and prosthesis? How much can a person change and modify their body before it stops being ‘natural’ and turns into something else?

Over the past few months the world has debated whether Oscar Pistorius’ prosthetic blades would give him unfair advantage against able-bodied athletes. With technological advances and stagnant records taking centrestage in athletics, how long will this question be relevant, asks Gabriella Håkansson.

Research material : Article brief & reading list


For The Love of Cricket                                                                               
By Kwame Dawes

“I am going to revive West Indies cricket. Yes. By this simple gesture of love for my son, I am going to first ensure that we win the series against Australia and then begin the long march back to dominance.”

In search of the perfect birthday gift for his teenage son, Kwame Dawes resolves to change his cricket-starved world and rediscover his supernatural connection with the West Indian team.

Research material : Article brief & reading list


Setting The Pace is a Small Town’s Big Business                                         
By Jackie Lebo
Photograph by Robert Njuguna/Kenya Running Project

“In primary school, if you were on the track team, your school fees were reduced and if you excelled, your schooling was free. The schools used to nurture runners but have now stopped.”

The ‘mystique’ of the Kenyan long-distance runner is to be found not among the elite on the European or North American circuits, but among the journeymen whose starting line is a T-junction in a farming community in the northwest of the country. Jackie Lebo reports.

Extra Features: View Jackie Lebo’s images from running camps in the Kerio Valley

Research material : Article brief & reading list


Nothing But…                                                                                                
By Simon Kuper

World Cup Headed to the Wild White West

Research material : Article brief & reading list


Head-butting Reality vs Iconic Latino Footballer                                        
By Marcela Mora y Araujo
Photographs by Sean Gallup /Getty Images

“If television had been invented with the sole purpose of broadcasting football matches, its existence would be more than justified.”

Marcela Mora y Araujo, on site at this year’s Cannes Film Festival wonders if the on-and off-pitch drama of the lives of Latin American footballers, such as Diego Maradona and his similarly troubled successor, Ariel Ortega, are the stuff of celluloid fiction.

Research material : Article brief & reading list


A Master of Bling with Feline Style                                                              
By Achillle Mbembe
Translated by Dominique Malaquais

“Eto’o handles himself like a razor-sharp knife, equal parts might and elegant slice. At his technical best he brings to mind his hero, Roger Milla.”

Samuel Eto’o finished this year’s African Cup of Nations as top scorer and is currently holding the record for goals scored in the tournament’s history. Achille Mbembe looks at what makes him so lethal.



Switch to our mobile site