How Egypt’s Pharaohs arose from the abyss

When Egypt beat Tanzania 2-0 in June to qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations, it confirmed their first appearance at the tournament after failing to qualify for the last three editions. For ordinary Egyptians, it was a welcome sight to see their team return to Africa’s premier competition. More so because Egyptian football…

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Is Brazilian football rotting from within?

Brazil’s fortunes are fading. Since 2014 the economy of the world’s fifth most populous nation has been faltering, leaving millions unemployed, inflation rates soaring and GDP shrinking at unprecedented rates. This economic collapse is going on amid a political crisis which has seen the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff on charges of violating the country’s…

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The relationship between Mussolini and calcio

For something that is essentially an expendable pastime, football can wield an extraordinary amount of influence. The temporary truce between supporters of fierce rivals Zamalek and Al Ahly helped to overthrow Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring, for example, while the 1969 war between El Salvador and Honduras was sparked by riots before a World Cup…

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Pablo Escobar and the narco-fútbol years

In 1989, Pablo Escobar was ranked seventh by Forbes Magazine on the World’s Billionaires List. A man with immense power, wealth and a notoriously violent streak, Escobar ran the Medellín drug cartel in Colombia for almost 20 years. Smuggling, bribing and killing his way to the top of the drug lord food chain, it was estimated…

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