Marcelo Bielsa is definitely out at Chile. It’s quite tragic given what he has done for the national team both in terms of style and substance. It was not a happy parting either. The Chilean people must be sure to thank the clubs who voted Harold Mayne-Nicholls out of office, thus ensuring that Bielsa would also go. They should also thank the Chilean FA for making sure that all bridges with Bielsa were burned. If Chile does not make the 2014 World Cup, the Chilean people can be comforted with the knowledge that the local clubs’ fiduciary interests were put first. Hopefully Bielsa will be able to find a new national side or club team to realize his crazy, beautiful ideas of how the game should be played.
This year is an off-year for the African Cup of Nations. Apparently CAF is not satisfied with having a tournament only every other year. Hence the African Championship of Nations, which started today in Sudan and which I had never heard of before today. Basically the only difference between this tournament and the Cup of Nations is that players in this tournament are required to play for a club in their home country. No expatriates allowed (even in other African countries.) Because this is a tournament of lesser quality, I won’t bore you all by recapping it the way I did with the Asian Cup or the Neymar Tournament. Not surprisingly, the last (and first) winner was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the home of TP Mazembe–the club that shocked the world in December by upsetting Brazil’s Internacional to become the first African club to reach the World Club Cup final. Most of the top African nations’ players are in Europe, so they are ineligible. That is also why in the CAF Champions League clubs like TP Mazembe or Cairo’s big two (Al Ahly and Al Zamalek) dominate while clubs from places like Ghana, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast underachieve.
In completely unrelated news, I watched the first episode of the second season of “Who Do You Think You Are”. As someone who loves genealogy and history, this series is naturally one of my favorites. The first celebrity up this season is Vanessa Williams, and the show does not disappoint. I am absolutely fascinated by what Williams has discovered on her journey. It gives me hope that maybe there will be some record that I will eventually be able to find out about my own ancestors.
This season one of the celebrities is Kim Cattrall, of Sex and the City fame. Cattrall is the second SATC celebrity to be on the show (after Sarah Jessica Parker’s appearance from last season.) Or so we think. Before you get excited that you will also see Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis also, you should know that Cattrall’s episode was actually filmed for the British series of Who Do You Think You Are (on which the American series is based.) Cattrall’s journey is heartbreaking, and I saw it on YouTube some months ago.
(Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens on the show.)
Cattrall’s mother and two aunts were abandoned by their father George at a very young age. Cattrall chases shadows throughout the episode. She discovers that George was a bigamist who, after marrying another woman and starting a family that he did not abandon, eventually moved to Australia. If you are not watching this show, please do.