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The Best Football Book I have Read,
This review is from: Feet of the Chameleon (Hardcover)
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Even though I am not a huge football fan I really enjoyed the book because of its African theme. The book not only traces the rise of today's African stars, many of whom are household names, but also of the football pioneers of Africa which goes back a lot further than I had realised with players such as Arthur Wharton, the first black professional footballer in the 1890s, Hassan Hegazi, Fulham's `Egyptian wizard' and Matateu the Mozambican-born Portuguese player.
I was also interested and shocked at the exploitation of young Africans by fraudulent and corrupt academies especially in West Africa.
Hawkey identifies the time when African football first really entered onto the world scene when in 1974 Zaire qualified for the World Cup and the country's dictator President Mobutu's role in what ended up as a debacle. He also looks at the role of football in politics and the number of footballers who subsequently became politicians and leaders.
He covers a wide range of subjects, from the different styles comparing North African with sub-Saharan African traditions, the sinister side of African football and an optimistic outlook for the future.
Even if you are not a football fan I would recommend this book.