Friday 17 Aug 2018 | 19:36 | SYDNEY
Friday 17 Aug 2018 | 19:36 | SYDNEY

The power of football


Malcolm Cook

28 October 2009 10:05

As one of the Lowy Institute's admitted football tragics, I was chuffed to read last night that the English Premier League and my favourite team Arsenal are contributing to peace in the Niger Delta.

In a story in last week's Economist entitled 'A Chance to End the Delta Rebellion', the local coordinator of the amnesty program notes that, in the resettlement camp for former rebels, they have set up big screens to watch football matches. Chelsea vs. Arsenal 'will take their minds off evil', says the coordinator. Of course, both Chelsea and Arsenal have benefitted from some of Africa's greatest present-day footballers, including Nigeria’s own Kanu.

Alas, research by some other football tragics suggests that players with a history of exposure to civil war are not the most peaceful on the playing fields of Europe. (H/t Sullivan.)

Photo by Flickr user Crystian Cruz, used under a Creative Commons license.