Friday, 15 July 2016

1966 and all that

A rare guest post, sent to me by Brendan Conway of Notre Dame School in Cobham, Surrey, taking a look at the World Cup Final of 1966, and the 50th anniversary of that event, which is in the media as the anniversary draws near.

I thought I’d offer some suggestions linked to the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup and its geography which is going to be high profile in the media over the next few weeks.  
I know that some people take the view that we should move on from it, but apart from the need to celebrate England’s only tournament victory and the real or ‘folk’ nostalgia attached to it, there’s a range of substantial reasons to revisit the event e.g. its influence on subsequent World Cups, FIFA and other major sporting events; the public-private sector partnerships which emerged to organise it; the impact and possible legacy on international relations between Europe, S America and Africa.

One particular aspect of the 1966 World Cup which has persistently gone under the radar is the African boycott.  It remains controversial, but undoubtedly focused attention on the potential of African football.
Although the significant contribution of Africa to world football is now undisputed, African countries are still under-represented at World Cups (10% share) compared to Europe (25%) and S America (45%).  BBC World's Piers Edwards has filed some excellent reports on the 1966 boycott and its legacies.  One interesting point is that in post-colonial Africa, the only pan-African organisation was the Confederation of African Football (CAF) until the emergence of the Organisation of African Unity (later to become the African Union).
A few related resource: 

•  When Africa boycotted the World Cup (BBC video) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36782149
•  Missing the World Cup (BBC World Service radio) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p040g3v9
•  How Africa boycotted the 1966 World Cup (BBC News article) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36763036

I’d already drawn attention to this in my story map ‘1966 and all that...geography’ but along with many updates, I’ve added a new section to include the links above.
Link to Story Map: http://arcg.is/1PW48IR
There was also this article in the Guardian about the contribution of Africa to the Euro 2016 final between Portugal and France
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/jul/09/france-portugal-colonial-history-african-flavour-euro-2016
and of course, the winning goal was scored by Éder from Guinea-Bissau
http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-07-11/euro-2016-meet-player-who-scored-most-important-goal-history-portuguese-football

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It is now...

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