Sean Jacobs questions the construction of a map that tries “to show where footballers playing in the top five European leagues come from.”
The trouble with their map is that while it claims to show players by country of origin (an elastic category), in fact it shows them according to national affiliation, and this is why it feels like these numbers don’t quite do justice to African involvement.
So Kevin Prince-Boateng (b. Berlin) shows up as Ghanaian, but his brother Jerome, who plays for Germany, doesn’t. Mario Balotelli and Danny Wellbeck, strikers on either half of Manchester, were both born to Ghanaian parents before opting to represent Italy and England respectively. Are these players African?
DR Congo is shown as contributing only a single player to the top leagues (which must be nonsense even by the methods applied), but a player like Vincent Kompany, the current captain of Belgium and Manche$ter City, could easily have represented the DRC instead, as could Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku.
A more interesting map might look at how players representing European national teams have roots all over the world.
G. Paschal Zachary asks, “Should the World Help Break Up Nigeria in Order to Save it?” Daniel Solomon says no. “Zachary’s partition,” he writes, “does little to address the present state of Nigerian political development.”
Nigerians will also get a say in what happens to their country, I hope.
The Economist‘s Baobab writes,
Acceleration is the word for Africa in 2012. The continent is moving forward at speed. No matter whether it is in control or veering out of control, Africa stands in marked contrast to slowing down and decomposition in the West. The acceleration is especially true in Ethiopia which is in the first stages of industrialisation.
What are you reading today?