By Steve Bloomfield
Africa United is the tale of recent day Africa advised via its football. traveling throughout 13 nations, from Cairo to the Cape, Steve Bloomfield, the previous Africa Correspondent for The Independent, meets avid gamers and lovers, politicians and insurgent leaders, researching the position that football has performed in shaping the continent. This wide-ranging and incisive ebook investigates Africa’s love of football, its expanding international effect, the build-up to the 2010 international Cup itself and the social and political backdrop to the best convey in the world.
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Extra info for Africa United: Soccer, Passion, Politics, and the First World Cup in Africa
While Laurent Kabila ousted Mobutu he replaced its identify to the Democratic Republic of Congo. yet like so much nations with the note “democratic” of their identify (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the German Democratic Republic spring to mind), elections have been by no means scheduled. as a substitute, Congo suffered one other devastating conflict. Rwanda and Uganda refused to go away the east, hoping to carve up the region’s minerals. Kabila sought new allies—Angola and Zimbabwe—both of that have been promised diamonds and gold in go back for his or her army aid. It changed into Africa’s bloodiest conflict, a clash that at one degree dragged within the majority of Congo’s 8 friends and nonetheless rumbles on in 2010. it truly is expected to have fee the lives of a few five. four million people—more than the other clash because the moment global struggle. Kabila was once assassinated in 2001. His son, Joseph, used to be simply twenty-nine yet used to be put in as his successor. inside a 12 months a peace deal were signed with the warring factions within the east and elections have been deliberate. The world’s greatest UN strength, recognized by means of its French acronym MONUC, stationed greater than 17,000 peacekeepers around the state and the foreign group agreed to fund the election—Congo’s first in additional than 40 years—to the track of $500 million. by the point the elections came about in July 2006, Joseph Kabila, the incumbent, used to be the overpowering favourite. He wasn’t renowned within the capital, Kinshasa, the place many of us suspected he was once no longer really Congolese. yet the place i used to be, within the east, he was—and I don’t imagine this is often too powerful a word—loved. in contrast to the opposite presidential contenders, who have been all former warlords, Kabila Jr. used to be visible as a peacemaker. there has been a feeling of actual pleasure around the state. The elections were bought to the inhabitants as a panacea for all ills. Roads will be outfitted, faculties and hospitals built, lecturers and nurses employed and knowledgeable. courses to disarm former militiamen and supply them with capital have been lower than method. swap used to be within the air. The evening earlier than the election I wandered right down to the border submit approximately two hundred yards from my resort. The border used to be as a result of be closed on election day. a gradual circulate of individuals have been crossing into Congo from Rwanda to ensure they have been in a position to vote. a few lived in Goma yet labored in Rwanda, yet so much of these who have been discovering now have been a part of that nebulous workforce of people that have been either Rwandan and Congolese. On election day the UN geared up a visit for overseas reporters. We traveled through helicopter to 3 diversified polling stations throughout North Kivu. on the first every thing seemed to be going good. The strains have been lengthy yet peaceable, and foreign and native observers inspiration that every little thing appeared to be operating correctly. We acquired again into the helicopter and headed for the 3rd and ultimate vacation spot. After fifteen mins within the air the helicopter banked sharply to the suitable and began to circle. lower than us there has been a box and what appeared like a polling station. We endured to circle for an additional ten mins.