Sometimes you get a shocking event that reminds you there’s more to life than football. When news first started filtering through of the attack, I felt sick. 2010 should be a celebration of African football. Instead, it turned the focus back onto the continent.
And through all this, there’s been some absolutely shocking reporting and opinion pieces from people who should know better online, on Twitter, on air and in print.
Chief among this is the idea that what happens in a war-torn enclave belonging to Angola is somehow directly linked to the World Cup in South Africa. It’s like saying the Balkans War raised questions about World Cup ’98. At best it’s ridiculous, at worst it’s lazy, irresponsible and patronising.
South Africa has its crime and security problems. But one thing it isn’t doing is hosting a game in an area which has known armed separatist rebels active. It’s a difference many writers might care to check.
So, anyway, I did an article for Soccerlens on this, attempting to piece it all together and provide a bit of context. I don’t pretend to be an expert on African history and politics, but it quite quickly becomes apparent there have been some monumentally stupid decisions taken, and questions need to be asked of the organisers. That should be the main story. Not the World Cup security.
In the meantime, thoughts and prayers are with those injured or killed and their friends and family.