Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Drogba´s departure a blow for Africa

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By Mark Gleeson

Celebrations down London´s King’s Road would have been matched for fervour and passion by those in Abidjan on Saturday night as Didier Drogba delivered for Chelsea.

The pride of an African striking the decisive blow on one of world football’s biggest stages has been reflected across the continent in the post UEFA Champions League final coverage.

It is typical of the forgiving nature of Africa that Drogba’s horrid penalty miss for his country in February’s African Nations Cup final against Zambia has been quickly forgotten amid all the euphoria.

His super hero status will have been completely restored by the role he played in the match in Munich; the late equaliser with that thumping header and then the calmness of converting the all-important kick in the shootout (especially having given away a missed penalty in extra time).

from Photographers' Blog:

No turning back as Africa’s hour arrives

A local child carries a ball while playing soccer at a dirt field in Soweto, Johannesburg June 7, 2010. The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup kicks off on June 11.          REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The 2010 World Cup has been a memorable and momentous occasion not only for me, but for South Africa, the African continent and the rest of the world.

It has indeed been incredible. It has been a unifying factor, with people beginning to appreciate the importance of their national symbols such as flags.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Does Angola attack really endanger the World Cup or just Africa’s image?

The bloody attack on Togo's team bus in Angola is a huge tragedy for African football and like it or not, has cast a shadow over the World Cup in South Africa in five months time -- the biggest sports event ever staged on the continent.

It is highly debatable whether the attack, which killed two members of the Togolese delegation as they arrived for the African Nations Cup and forced the squad's evacuation on Sunday, really increases the risk to teams and spectators in South Africa.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

World Cup live blog

From 1730 GMT.************

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