Like a lot of children Frantz Fanon, the legendary Martinican-Algerian revolutionary, loved playing soccer as a youngster. Returning to his place of birth Martinique in 1945 after fighting in Europe and North Africa in the Second World War, he continued to play soccer in a local team. Soccer was always part of Fanon’s life. Nearly a decade after the war, he tried to create a therapeutic community at Blida-Joinville Psychiatric Hospital in Algeria. He organised a soccer team at the institution and arranged for matches with other teams in the community. In The Wretched of the Earth, perhaps Fanon’s most famous book, which was written in 1961, he reflects on the anticolonial struggles in Africa and warns of coming challenges. The book was prescient and still remains relevant. But Fanon’s remarks on sport, which come in the central chapter, Pitfalls of National Consciousness, have been little discussed. He writes, “The youth of Africa should not be oriented toward the stadiums but towar...

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