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More Than Just A Game: Football V Apartheid

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Title: More Than Just a Game Binding: Paperback Author: Chuck Korr Publisher: HARPER COLLINS CARTOGRAPHIC
Paperback, 317 pages
Published 2009 by Collins Publishers (first published 2008)
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David Campton
If you have any interest in football, politics, and/or South Africa, or indeed if you have any passing interest in what sustains the human spirit in the face of adversity, this is well worth a read. It tells the story of the less famous prisoners on Robben Island, and how sport in general and football in particular, became a unifying factor in the lives of the prisoners, helping to shape them for the new South Africa to come. It is especially interesting that they used FIFA's rules as a rigorous ...more
Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town, may be seen as the Guantanamo Bay of the 1960 and 1970s – a detention centre used indiscriminately, and based in repressive legislation and state practices. Unlike Guantanamo, however, many of its now former inmates are important figures in South Africa and global figures (think, Nelson Mandela, Jacob Zuma, and others). During the apartheid years we knew quite a lot about Robben Island, since the fall of apartheid more has come to light – the repre ...more
This book examines the little known story of the Makana Football Association, which was founded and run—along with its composite clubs, referees union, and other related bodies—by political prisoners on South Africa's infamous apartheid-era prison, Robben Island. As the book explains, the MFA came out of the inmates' desire not only for moments of respite from the toil and terror of prison life, but more so from their determination to stake a claim for their humanity in the face of a regime that ...more
So far, best book I've read in my whole entire life!
More Than Just A Game, is a book which inspired me to think of soccer in a different way. Look beyond than just thinking of it as a sport. I also discovered what it meant to other people. Personally, I love the game of soccer, but before reading this book I never really realize how much you could learn of playing a simple game of soccer. Soccer can teach you many things about yourselve and the world around you.Soccer can teach you how to respe
Beau Laufer
This was by far the best book I’ve read. When i first picked up the book i wasn't really sure what to expect but after reading a couple chapters i was hooked. More Than Just A Game, is a book that not only changed my way of looking at soccer but also showed me it was way more than just a sport. Soccer has always been a huge influence in my life and has taught me several of lessons. Reading this book has opened my eyes on how most of the world views soccer.

This book was not only about soccer but
Jorgen Lundgren
An interesting and fascinating book about south Africa and apartheid in relation to sport specially football on the prison island, Robben Island.

'sports is a way of building character, of teaching proper values, of finding ways to persevere in the worst of conditions'.

'sports is way of alleviating the distress and frustrating conditions which our community is always faced with'.

It will be no surprise to the reader of this book that all those quotes come from the writings of prisoners on Robben I
Gerald Sinstadt
I need to declare an interest here. For a decade during the period covered by this book I was contributing to a couple of sports programmes emanating from the BBC's World Service studios. I felt strongly about South Africa's abominable apartheid regime and, within BBC editorial limits, spoke out against it when I could. I also withdrew from the opportunity to ghost a book for a South African golfer on the same grounds. So it won't seem surprising that I found inspirational the story of how footb ...more
I took a bit of a punt on this book as while I'm not overly interested in football, I thought that it would be an interesting juxtaposition of the sport onto a political dimension.
To a certain extent that is the occasionally the case here but it is far more of an intense close-up look at the running of the Makana FA - the football administration the prisoners of Robben Island set up.

I expected a situation that would keep the political aspect as an important element of the story but what I found
Meticulously researched, this is the best kind of sports book - one that links the value of the game to the wider culture and its impacts. The men imprisoned on Robben Island held their sanity, dignity, and hearts by playing soccer, but it wasn't pretty or easy or simple. Although the book does not focus on the results of the end of Apartheid, it showcases how the men who later became leaders of South Africa learned humility, compromise, and passion through collective action for a beloved game.
Great book, and a great time to read it... This book talks about another side to Robben Island- an island off the coast of Cape Town which housed political prisoners of the apartheid regime. While all I have heard/read about Robben Island has revolved around the trying conditions and its most famed prisoner (Mandela)- this book talks about a lot of "not-famous" prisoners and how they banded together around sport, soccer in particular, to keep spirits up and overcome factionalism. Highly recommen ...more
I would recommend reading "More Than Just a Game" as a companion book to "Playing the Enemy" (made into the move "Invictus"). Both shed light on the role of sports during and after apartheid.

Having had the opportunity to visit Robben Island--a desolate and hardscrabble place--I was able to visualize the events in the book more clearly. The organization that the prisoners put into sports was rewarding in and of itself, but also a metaphor for their struggle to overcome oppression.
A fascinating and very unusual history of apartheid from the point of view of the Robben Island prisoners who set up and ran football and rugby leagues, as well as their own summer Olympics, all through some clever manipulation of the authorities and some good old-fashioned peaceful protesting!
A compelling era in African history illustrating the importance of sport in human social interactions. Provided a new sense of the infamous Robben Island and how the men imprisoned there survived as well as planned for a new South Afica.
Interesting read even for non-sports fans that covers politics, sports, prison, apartheid, and personal relationships.

Interesting how many people gained skills through the sports league that came in handy in later life.
Intersting description of how South African soccer league started among Apartheid prisoners (and how that translated into how they ran the government years later), but got bogged down in some uninteresting details.
Annaelle Allez L'OL!!!
more a biography cause i felt like the story wasnt personal enough but written more in a matter of fact way! But The story was really good and sad.. thanks to football, they were able to survive their stay in prison.
Molique Lawson
Overall I think this is a good book for anyone whose interested In the sport such as football it shows how much a sport can impact someones life none the less change how you feel about the game it's self.
I never really learned much about apartheid South Africa, so this book was quite the eye-opener for me. Don't skip the epilogue or the story about how the book came to be. Both are very interesting.
Danny Knobler
An incredible story, told very well. Interesting for anyone who has enjoyed the World Cup, or even anyone who hasn't.
Jason Murray
This was great book that I believe if you are a soccer fan or just a plain history fan you will enjoy it.
Brian Price
This was an excellent account of the struggles these men faced during Apartheid.
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More Than Just a Game: Soccer vs. Apartheid: The Most Important Soccer Story Ever Told

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