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                                                                    The 31st Africa Cup of Nations – or to give it its catchier, 21st century sci-fi name AFCON 2017 – passed by over the past month without much in the way of fanfare. Of course, there were the obligatory biennial complaints from European managers at losing their star players midway through the season, but even these were muted in comparison to ..
                                                     Once every four years, a momentous thing happens. The warring tribes of the British Isles put aside their differences, forget colonial pasts and call a temporary ceasefire to unite under one fearsome, blood-red banner. Once every twelve years, they mount an assault on the most formidable enemy of all: the Maori tribes of the South Seas. 2017 is that year.  This may all sound a tad glib, like it sho..
                                                           The dawn of a new era is upon us. The balance of power has shifted. A new global force stirs in the east. No, I’m not quoting Lord of the Rings, although I probably could be. Rather, these are the kind of phrases you will have encountered when reading of the rampant rise of Chinese football. But is the hype justified?  In recent times there has been something of a mass ex..
                                   The Rugby World Cup semi-finals in September 2015 seem a long time ago. The four best teams in what is becoming an increasingly global game pitted their wits against one another in West London. Not one of the four had a cold Christmas. Not one of them had a gruelling domestic season ahead of them. Each one of them descended upon Twickenham to confirm what the rugby world knew had been happening for some time: the southern hemisphere had officially claimed ownership..
 There’s one on every street, numerous in every city. Incomprehensible to the old school, bloated pub-dweller, and church to the endorphin-crazed, carb-counting, beautiful young things. Many are open 24 hours a day, and all are packed to the air-conditioned rafters with people of all shapes, sexes, sizes and goals. To one, the cover of Men’s Fitness beckons. To another, staving off the early onset of age is enough. To all, the gym is, and has been for some time, a staple part of life – a one-way ticket to self-improvement, self-confidence and self-worth. Whilst most o..
                      As we reach the halfway point in the 2016-17 Premier League season, one thing alone seems strikingly certain: the health of the English domestic game has been restored to somewhere close to its mid-noughties pomp. To say this is to imply that it has been somewhat lacking of late, which might come as a surprise to some of you. Yet, delicious as it may have been in its undiluted ludicrousness, Leicester City being crowned champions does not point to a highly competitive, continentally-dominant Premier League. Quite t..
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                                                                            At the risk of sounding like every other cliché-wrapped bundle of festive round-up codswallop: this year has been quite the rollercoaster. Unprecedented successes have been followed by mind-numbingly predictable failures. Normal orders have been restored, usurped and downright destroyed. Reputations have been fortified ..

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                                                                                                                                                 Photo courtesy BBC The BBC’s publicity people have got one hell of a job on th..