Guest Slot: Why African football has flopped at the 2018 World Cup

IN 1977, Pelé predicted an African team would win the World Cup before the end of the 20th century. It was and remains a bold prediction: it wasn’t even until the following year that an African country, Tunisia, actually won a match at the tournament. Over the following decade, African football experienced a steady progression, culminating in Cameroon’s near-miss in 1990, when they came within … Continue reading Guest Slot: Why African football has flopped at the 2018 World Cup

Guest Slot: Should Russia be hosting?

WHEN Russia was awarded the hosting rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it wasn’t totally unfair to dismiss the reaction – particularly that of the English – as sour grapes. After all, there was a certain expectation among the England camp that it was their moment: a feeling of entitlement that it was their chance to win the tournament in the home of football … Continue reading Guest Slot: Should Russia be hosting?

Guest Slot: Olaf Peter Jensen on German football history

IN THE first of a series of guest columns, Olaf Jensen writes on the often forgotten side of German football. In the 1920s and 30s, Germany threatened to be an important footballing nation, finishing third in the 1934 World Cup. In those days, they had a larger country from which to pick their talent – a far eastern province with a forgotten footballing history. In … Continue reading Guest Slot: Olaf Peter Jensen on German football history