Iran vs Iraq – tension, admiration and ‘one of the best atmospheres in world football’

“It was not a straightforward journey to Tehran for Wycombe Wanderers striker Ali Al-Hamadi this week. A snowstorm in the Turkish city of Istanbul threw his flight plans up in the air but while waiting at Heathrow airport, mulling over a change to his connecting flight, the Iraq international was able to have a quick chat with The Athletic before two more World Cup qualifiers in the next week, and his first taste of the Iran-Iraq derby. …”
The Athletic (Video)


Predicting the AFCON 2021 Quarter-finals

“Senegal and Cameroon – they’ve each got about a 75% chance of reaching the AFCON 2021 semi-finals with dream quarter-final draws, but that’s about where the similarities end. We’ll start this off with one of those teams and end with the other while weaving through the remaining six sides with key numbers for each. A disclaimer before reading on: Teams playing attacking football (looking at you, Morocco) will be handsomely rewarded with more words. …”
The Analyst

Is that a “juju” man on Malawi’s bench?

“In Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa and much of southern Africa, the rains which start falling in November, the onset of summer, are a welcome respite after the preceding dry, winter months. However welcome the rains are, the relief is sometimes tinged with a measure of trepidation – especially among some rural communities. After all, rains come with lightning and thunder. It so happens that our region receives a disproportionate amount of lightning compared to the rest of the world. One reason for the phenomenon is the minerals extant in the rocks beneath us that draw the electricity from the sky. Nonsense, some will say – the real reason is African metaphysics. …”
New Frame