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Thursday, 10 June 2010
Bongo Bongoland


I spotted this South African fan parking her car in Oxted today. I generally don’t like this type of jingoism, but I notice that it is unusual to see a car with a flag that isn’t that of the patron saint of Palestine, George.

Today we saw a different kind of patriotism evoked, by the Daily Mail who approvingly headed a letter from one of their correspondents with Now here’s an idea ...:

Wouldn’t it be great if TV coverage of the World Cup was limited to England’s games, those of hosts South Africa and of the tournaments ‘big guns’.

Then we would be spared the ordeal of having to sit through a match between Bongo Bongoland and the Former Soviet Republic of Bulimia and other meaningless events.

Mike Phelps
Yeovil, Somerset

This is an insidious nasty nationalism that runs counter to everything that the World Cup stands for. Like the FA Cup, some of the most dramatic and interesting matches are played by the minnows, or when the minnows come up against a “more important” team.  In particular I remember how


Cameroon, captained by a 42 year old Roger Milla, captured my imagination during the 1990 World Cup.

Some people have been pointing out on Twitter that Bongo Bongoland actually exists, as represented in this 1980s Splitting Image map, entitled Tory Atlas of the World:


As someone who tends to support the team that is the “underdog” I generally end up supporting a team (or five) from that part of the world during the World Cup.  This year, I will be supporting Bongo Bongoland during the World Cup.

Posted by bigblue on 10/06/2010 at 05:06 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (2) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

I guess you don’t remember it that clearly - it was Cameroon who reached the quarter finals in 1990, not Senegal! Who could forget Roger Milla’s celebration dances with the corner flag? Senegal reached the quarter finals in 2002 (and beat reigning champions France in the opening game).

But yes, come on Bongo Bongoland. Any idea where I can buy a shirt?

Posted by Keri  on  10/06/2010  at  05:32 PM

Oops, yes: Thanks for the reminder. It was indeed the Cameroon Lions in 1990 and Senegal in 2002!  I was confusing two different events.

The amaBongoBongo merchandise is available here:

Posted by bigblue  on  10/06/2010  at  07:29 PM

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