Since my previous post was about Africa, soccer and the problems of living in Africa, I am obligated to note this:
Hard to believe that only a couple of days later, a story comes along that combines Africa, violence, rebellion, terrorism, civil war and soccer all in one package. From the article:
Angola has bet a great deal on the Cup of Nations, the continent’s most keenly followed sporting event, to open a new chapter in its history after a 27-year civil war that cost up to one million lives and displaced four million people. The country has lavished $1bn (£625m) on stadiums, hotels and other infrastructure to host the tournament. Angola’s sports minister, Gonçalves Muandumba, insisted: “Despite this, the championship will go on.”
Will all the attention on South Africa and the World Cup, I had not realized that Angola, of all places, had invested a billion dollars into a soccer tournament. The “duh” lesson from all this that you can’t make decades of violence fade away by hosting sports tournaments.
But ultimately, what’s important is that the championship does go on. It is inevitable that Angola has a great deal of adversity in its future; hosting this tournament was originally just a limited measure of Angola’s resources and infrastructure, but now it’s a test of handling adversity as well.