Monday, 29 August 2011

South Sudan flag to fly at All Africa Games

South Sudan has announced that the country's teams will be participating in the All Africa Games in Mozambique in September under their new flag. This may seem irrelevant to many, especially because South Sudan teams have been at other All Africa games. But on a continent where sport plays an incredibly important role, it matters.

It sometimes seems like being allowed to participate as an independent country in sporting events may almost carry more weight than official recognition. Particularly when regional political bodies sometimes make some... odd.. calls on who to recognise.

And I say this as someone from a country which has spent a full week talking about the botched singing of our national anthem at the announcement event for a national sports team. Seriously. Not even a match. And before you decide that this is just a South African idiosyncrasy, think back to (or investigate) the outcry when a certain major cricket nation refused to play in Zimbabwe. Sport matters here. So well done to South Sudan and welcome to the rough and tumble of the African sports arena.

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