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55 Football Nations Updates

Opposites attract

The Africa Cup of Nations was in Germany. I wore Mali’s famous eagle shirt to Ukraine’s emotional 2-1 win over Slovakia in Düsseldorf. An Irish man spotted my unusual attire in the stadium... READ MORE

Animal magic

It had been forty years and two civil wars since Ivory Coast had last hosted the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). It was instantly clear how much it meant to the country. Félix Houphouët-Boigny International... READ MORE

Ivory hosts

Ivory Coast was my third AFCON. Logistically, it was the most difficult. Not a single hotel outside commercial hub Abidjan was listed on booking sites. I used my dubious French, and used up my... READ MORE

In bed with Maradona

“Maradona or Messi?” was a question I was frequently asked in Argentina. It was hard to answer, but Buenos Aires was undeniably the greatest city I had yet to visit. And Argentina was something... READ MORE

Italian nineties

Marco skipped into my Milan hotel lobby sporting dark glasses, jeans and stubble. He gave me a hug. It had been five years since television director Marco had covered my visit to Crotone... READ MORE

Away from Tomé

Bats swooped through the airy rooms of the clapboard plantation house I was staying in. Elemental rain hammered the lush undergrowth and large fruits thudded to the ground. I walked down the middle... READ MORE