Daily Archives: January 25, 2014

Mr Big Bucks and the Mamelodi Sundowns

“On December 5th of last year, South Africans bade farewell to Nelson Mandela. In general the new republic’s founding father was remembered as a principled, but pragmatic political leader. Some media coverage, however, reduced him to a one-dimensional figure, at odds with the larger South African struggle. That Mandela advocated armed struggle and formed alliances with communists was conveniently downplayed by all sorts of political causes and personalities whose politics Mandela would have opposed while he was alive, but who now claimed him as one of their own. Mandela was also favorably compared to his former wife Winnie Madikizela. His time in prison, presented as character-building, was contrasted with her increasing radicalism and criminal actions in the 1980s. Most black South Africans, however, were not scandalized by Mandela’s one-time celebration of violent struggle or his communist leanings, or by Winnie’s complicated, but flawed, legacy, which was formed in a more compromising, violent outside.” Roads and Kingdoms

Brazil and its ‘relatively simple’ World Cup delays

“In a rare question-and-answer huddle with Brazilian journalists this week, President Dilma Rousseff pronounced with confidence that the beleaguered new football stadium in the southern city of Curitiba would ‘definitely’ be ready for the World Cup. Mrs Rousseff was speaking on the pitch at the Arena das Dunas in the northern coastal city of Natal, which she had just officially opened with a rather nervous kick of a ball from the centre-spot. It was a rare high-point for Brazil – and its World Cup organisers – after a disastrous week during which a high-level Fifa delegation had seen, warts and all, the state of the country’s readiness for the tournament that begins in mid-June.” BBC

River Plate v Boca Juniors: Argentina’s ultimate rivalry

“Summer is a hellish time to be in Buenos Aires. First, because the temperatures are enough to wilt even the strongest constitution – I type this whilst sitting in the living room in my pants, with the air conditioning on, and thanks to the 40 degrees Celsius outside, I’m still sweating. But for the football fan, there’s a more prosaic reason: from mid-December until early February, the Argentine league shuts down, and with clubs relocating to coastal resorts or holiday towns far from the capital to undergo ‘pre-season’ (I use inverted commas because technically, we’re actually halfway through the season), there’s no competitive football to enjoy.” World Soccer