Little noticed in the US mainstream media but Ryzsard Kapuściński, who wrote The Soccer War passed away on January 23.
The Soccer War is Kapuściński’s narrative of a war that he witnessed stationed in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa and provides an visceral account of the 100 hour war that engulfed El Salvador and Honduras in the run up to qualifying for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico by. Outwardly, the war took on the mythical status of the power of soccer to sway countries and incite passions but more fundamentally, it was the culmination of long simmering tensions between the two countries on their lack of land reform and trade imbalance. The Soccer War also details other wars and disputes throughout the developing world from the assassination of Patrice Lumumba to the border wars between Ethiopia and Somalia.
Ryzsard Kapuściński described his style as literary reportage and he lived in the developing countries that he wrote his books and articles. “Without trying to enter other ways of looking, perceiving, describing, we won’t understand anything of the world.”
How very true. Ryzsard Kapuściński, RIP.
The Global Game has more on The Soccer War and the Guardian has his obituary.