A fascinating story out of Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea and the smallest UN country in Africa.
No, I wasn't there, but I have friends who were at the African Nations Women's Cup which resulted in a 2-1 victory for the hosts NZALANG NACIONAL 'The Gorillas', over South Africa's Banyana Banyana. Nigeria, perennial favourites, were suprisingly beaten in the semi-final. It's the first time the country has won anything significant. It's in the Gulf of Guinea and part of the country is on the mainland and Malabo the capital is on an island in the Gulf.
What is interesting is that the team brought over 4 Brazilian women and gave them quick citizenship while 2 others are rumoured not to be women but men, but CAF didn't intervene or check them out. You might remember that back in November 2004 Mark Thatcher, known in UK as a 'twit'and son of former British Prime Minister Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, was living in South Africa and behind an attempted coup which the CIA, MI6, the Spanish Government and Houston oil interests were 'allegedly' supporting. The idea was to install a 'pupit' President who was in-waiting in Spain. It failed and lots of jail time for those who were caught. Spanish is the official language of the country
The Nuevo Estadio de Malabo built in 2007 with 15,000 seats hosted the women's final and will also co-host matches in the 2012 African Cup of Nations men's tournament along with nearby Gabon,(2010 version is in Angola). The previous Estadio Nacional gained infamy when it was used on Christmas Day 1975 for a mass execution. Previous dictator Francisco Mascias Nguema got rid of 150 supposed coup planners to the tune of 'Those Were the Days' from his Presidential band. What a way to go!!!
The latest Dictator is retired General Teodore Obiang Nguemo Mbasogo since 1982 when he succeeded Nguema in a successful coup. Lots of oil has been discovered and revenues of $350 million or more a year seem to be creamed off by Mbasogo while the streets are full of garbage, there is no public transport and little drinking water and electricity. His diplomats use their privileged luggage to smuggle drugs.
Unity, Peace, Justice is the national motto. Really? The women's coach is Clementine Toure from Ivory Coast. You may also remember Eric Moussambani 'Eric the Eel' who finished last in his 100 metres swimming heat at the Sydney Olympic Games. In the 1974 fictional Dogs of War book and later movie by Frederick Forsyth, he called it the Republic of Zangaro.