n Conflict Trends - Beyond the big stage : football, reconciliation and social development in Africa

Volume 2010 Number si-1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


In an oft-quoted statement, Bill Shankly, former Scottish international football player and manager of Liverpool FC in England, argued that "some people think that football is a matter of life and death. I can assure them that it is much more serious than that." Shankly, of course, referred to competitive soccer in Europe. In Africa, the statement could be more than a metaphor. As noted by ESPN's Roger Bennett, whereas "in the United States and Europe the game exists somewhere between sport and big business, in Africa [...] [football] remains a potent symbol of hope and healing".

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