“Bloomfield’s book presents the perfect contextual backdrop for understanding how football intersects with everyday life, politics, and national identities in this part of the world.” (Newsweek
“[T]he author relates what soccer means in nations where poverty and danger go hand-in-hand. The result is a highly charged read at least as much about politics as soccer. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal
“A journalist’s continental odyssey. … it’s a brave journey - Bloomfield should never have taken that old Russian aircraft in Sierra Leone - and carries us to countries most of us will never see. The highlight, a beautiful piece of writing, is Bloomfield’s visit to Mogadishu, the wrecked yet splendid Somali capital.” (Financial Times
“This is a fascinating account of how football lies at the very heart of African consciousness....The insights that Bloomfield has gleaned as The Independent’s Africa correspondent shine through in the perfect balance of passionate prose and informed accounts of key moments both on and off the pitch.” (Waterstones.com)
] is an excellent book and offers a fascinating introduction to thirteen national African teams.” (About.com)
From the Back Cover
Africa United is the story of modern-day Africa told through its soccer. Traveling across thirteen countries, from Cairo to the Cape, Steve Bloomfield meets players and fans, politicians and rebel leaders, discovering the role that soccer has played in shaping the continent. He recounts how soccer has helped to stoke conflicts and end wars, bring countries together and prop up authoritarian regimes.
A lively and elegantly reported travelogue, Africa United calls attention to the amazing relationships between people and soccer, and to the state of Africa on the cusp of the biggest moment in its sporting history, the 2010 World Cup.