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Gary Younge
Ivory Coast v Serbia and Montenegro

In a game between a nation that no longer exists and another whose existence is in jeopardy, hope trumps failure.

Serbia had its chance to maintain a multi-ethnic state and blew it; Montenegro voted to secede a few weeks before the tournament started.

Now Ivory Coast finds itself in the midst of vicious civil war. Indeed, their football team is the most potent symbol of the potential for national unity, with players represented from both warring regions.

"Our goal is to win but also to serve as an example to our country," says striker Bonaventure Kalou. Here's hoping.

Verdict: Support Cote D'Ivoire!

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Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
book review
'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
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