Football and a goal deferred

Journalist Sean Jacobs on football's power to clarify how a nation imagines itself and its place in the world

09 June 2024 - 00:00 By Sean Jacobs

One of my favourite photographs of myself was taken by a journalist acquaintance on July 8 1992. In the black-and-white print, I am on the left, dressed in a grey overcoat over a mismatched shirt and a striped sweater (what we South Africans call a jersey) and clutching a pen and notebook. Next to me, in a tracksuit, is the footballer Doctor Khumalo. He smiles in a different direction. I look straight into the camera. I was 23, Khumalo 25. We radiate openness and cheer...

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