Articles Archives - Page 4 of 8 - Football is Africa

Will Africa’s leaders make the right choice?

February 19, 2016 Articles 3 Comments

Members of the CAF executive committee

    “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” – Martin Luther King. With a week to the election of a new president for FIFA – assuming, of course, another dramatic intervention, […]

Read more Leave comment

Outsiders, Insiders and the status quo…

April 7, 2013 Articles 1 Comment

Ref Slim Jdidi is on the 2014 World Cup shortlist, after his Nations Cup fiasco

During my visit to Morocco, for last month’s CAF congress, I was, inevitably, at the Hotel Sofitel in Marrakech, which was the expected beehive of activities, as the continent’s football politicians congregated there. But, as you might guessed, that’s not the story I’m planning to tell… What you might find interesting is this encounter I […]

Read more Leave comment

Ringing truth’s Bells (Part 2)

March 16, 2013 Articles Leave a comment

In his heydays, Joseph-Antoine Bell played in the French first division, for clubs such as Marseille, Bordeaux and Saint Etienne

After the rather ‘interesting’ spectacle of the CAF elective congress in Marrakech, Morocco, which I have written about, extensively, in my weekly column for and in a subsequent commentary piece for PlayTheGame (, an organisation that strongly advocates for good governance in international sport organisations, I am purposely not saying anything further about the […]

Read more Leave comment

Ringing truth’s bells (Part 1)

March 6, 2013 Articles Leave a comment

Joseph-Antoine Bell has been a longstanding critic of the state of African football

Having a conversation with former Cameroon goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell, the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations winner, is always entertaining. But thought-provoking. The 58-year old, who lost his place in the Indomitable Lions squad, that had the historic quarter-final World Cup run at Italia ’90, for speaking out against the poor treatment received by his colleagues, […]

Read more Leave comment

Uneasy lies the head…

February 25, 2013 Articles Leave a comment

Kirsten Nematandani, president of the South African Football Association (SAFA)

Kirsten Nematandani, the president of SAFA, the South African Football Association, has had a pretty rough time, following the publication of FIFA’s report into match-fixing, involving Bafana-Bafana, South Africa’s national team, before the 2010 World Cup finals. The report, released late last year, revealed that friendly matches against Bulgaria, Colombia, Guatemala and Thailand were fixed. […]

Read more Leave comment

The perplexing paradox that is Nigeria…

February 15, 2013 Articles 1 Comment

Stephen Keshi is the only living man to have captained and coached his country to an African title

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine What it is about the three-time African champions, which gives it the rather amusing but perplexing ability to pull chaos and organisational mayhem out of the sharp jaws of heady triumph, as it defied the so-called experts, myself included, to lift a third […]

Read more Leave comment

Postcard from Jo’burg: Enigmas, fortitude, cheats and politics…

February 8, 2013 Articles 2 Comments

Nigeria's fanatical fans have been waiting for a Nations Cup triumph for nearly 20 years

When I wrote a piece for When Saturday Comes, the monthly English football magazine, on the state of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, ahead of the 1998 World Cup finals in France, I said, in my opening remarks, that “Perhaps like nowhere else in the football world, the recent history of the game in Nigeria is one […]

Read more Leave comment

Postcard From Durban (2): Where Is the ‘Real’ Cup of Nations being played?

February 2, 2013 Articles Leave a comment

issa Hayatou, CAF president

For ‘ordinary’ watchers of the Cup of Nations, the exciting part of this tournament begins this weekend, with the start of the knockout stages, where no prisoners are taken and none offered. It’s certain to provide lots of twists, turns and high drama, right until the very end, when the new champions of Africa will […]

Read more Leave comment

Postcard from Durban: Questions of language, competence, integrity and the future

January 27, 2013 Articles Leave a comment

Luis Antunes, Cape Verde's coach

The last time I made an effort to check, English, French and Portuguese are languages not indigenous to Africa. They became an integral, inescapable part of the continent’s lingua franca only because of the colonial experience, inflicted upon it by buccaneering Europeans that exploited its riches. But the legacies that these ‘foreign’ languages have left, […]

Read more Leave comment

Postcard from Rustenburg: Does truth have a hiding place?

January 22, 2013 Articles Leave a comment

South Africa coach Gordon Igesund is under pressure to deliver a second Nations Cup trophy

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it but in the end, there it is.” – Winston Churchill Whether it’s on a green, lush pitch – in front of nearly 90,000 spectators at Johannesburg’s Soccer City, or in the game’s corridors of political power – where its high chiefs and mandarins […]

Read more Leave comment

Nations Cup special: “Walking down Champions’ Avenue”

January 16, 2013 Articles Leave a comment

Sheer joy: An emotional Clive Barker with South Africa's Bafana-Bafana in 1996

Winning the Africa Cup of Nations, in their very appearance in 1996, following their return to the continental football family, was one of the greatest sporting moments in South Africa’s history. Beating Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions and Ghana’s Blacks Stars on the path to the trophy and vanquishing Tunisia’s formidable Carthage Eagles in that memorable final, […]

Read more Leave comment

Exclusive interview – Can the ‘Big Boss’ revive Nigeria’s Super Eagles?

January 12, 2013 Articles Leave a comment


Fondly known as the “Big Boss”, for his imposing personality, Stephen Keshi’s Nations Cup romance spans an amazing 31 years and 10 tournaments. The former Nigeria captain, now manager of the Super Eagles, will be making his fifth appearance as a Nations Cup coach – going twice, as his country’s assistant trainer, at the 2000 […]

Read more Leave comment

Who is Osasu Obayiuwana?

A qualified lawyer but functioning, mostly, as a British-Nigerian journalist, broadcaster and blogger for 30 years, I am currently the Associate Editor of the London-based monthly magazine NewAfrican, the continent’s oldest English-language general interest magazine - Over the last 21 years, I've reported on football and sport for the BBC World Service, BBC TV Sport and BBC Sport Interactive, travelling throughout the world, wherever there is an unusual or unique tale to tell. I regularly work as a reporter, commentator and sometimes presenter of the World Service's "World Football" programme. I have reported and written opinion pieces, interviews and features for Reuters, The Guardian and Observer newspapers of London, The London Daily Mail, Die Welt in Germany, World Soccer Magazine, FourFourTwo. Weekly Soccer Magazine in Japan, The Voice of America Radio network, Switzerland’s Facts magazine, Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper and South Africa’s Sowetan Soccer Magazine, I also worked on the IMG/TWI team (makers of the television programme, "FIFA Futbol Mundial") that covered the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship. Covering several World Cups, Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and most of FIFA’s competitions, as well as watching league football from America’s MLS to the Chinese Super Division – and a lot of what is in between, like the French, Dutch, German, Belgian and Spanish championships, I have also dabbled into football administration, as a FIFA Media Officer during the 2009 U-17 World Cup in Nigeria. I was, until Friday, the 23rd of September 2016, a member of FIFA's Anti-Racism/Anti-Discrimination Task Force. I also advised the Nigeria Olympic Committee, as part of a group of lawyers, on how to set up a Court Of Arbitration for Sport, even though they are yet to implement our legal blueprint, five years after we completed our report! 😏