It might not be the most famous political statement made on the sports field, like the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. But when Zimbabwean cricket players Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wore black armbands at the 2003 Cricket World Cup to “mourn the death of democracy” in their country, they wrote their own unique piece of history and showed love to a country that has continued to sink deeper into crisis and recession.
Nigerian footballer Victor Moses has been one of the most consistent players in the English Premier League this season. His rising profile is a remarkable turn of events from his childhood, where he suffered the worst imaginable misfortune for a young person.
Cameroon has had to dig deep into their bags of reserves to qualify for the semi-finals of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). The Indomitable Lions have had to fight it out without eight players who declined selection choosing to stay with their clubs in Europe. Should the four-time African champions go all the way in Gabon and clinch a fifth title, will it bring shame to those who refused to answer the nation’s call? Is there something we’ve learnt from the Gabon 2017 Afcon tournament in as far as players’ patriotism is concerned?
Had the world’s most expensive player, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba chosen to play for Guinea, his country of origin, over his place of birth France, the West African nation would probably be one of the 16 clubs currently battling for supremacy at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. Enock Muchinjo profiles one of the players who would have been in Gabon had things turned out differently.
To many sports lovers, the French national football team is a beacon of multiculturalism and racial integration. For several decades now, the Les Blues has largely been composed of white, black and Arab players, all proudly united under the French flag and the national anthem, the Marseillaise. One country that has also followed the French example of assimilation is Belgium, as Enock Muchinjo explains through the story of Belgian international Christian Benteke.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons have come out victorious yet again at the 2016 women’s Africa Cup of Nations today. Beating hosts Cameroon 1-0.