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Mahjoub: “The history does not belong to me alone.”
Your archive of African football must be the only one of its kind worldwide. What prompted you to put this collection together?
Faouzi Mahjoub: I love football and I’m passionate about the history of the sport. In the early 1960s, I realised that, through my work as an African football correspondent, it was my duty not only to report on African football but also to document it. Who else was as well placed to do so as me?
Why did you hand over your archive to FIFA ?
Mahjoub: The history does not belong to me alone, and it is extremely important to me that my collection is available to all those with an interest in African football. FIFA’s documentation centre undoubtedly has the necessary expertise and resources to look after the archive.
So what are you personally expecting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™?
Mahjoub: I hope that South Africa will show its best side and stage an exceptional tournament on behalf of the entire African continent. On which note, it is essential to bear in mind that the 2010 World Cup belongs to a whole continent. It would be a grave mistake to view it solely as a black African tournament.
Will the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ lend fresh impetus to football in Africa?
Mahjoub: Africa has long been producing great players, but seldom great national teams. Hopefully, the World Cup will lead to a strengthening of the national leagues and also provide a wider platform that will help African teams to flourish. It is vital to invest in infrastructure, but it is also key to invest in the training of coaches, training staff and technical directors. We still have a lot to do in this respect.