A court in Oslo sentenced Anders Breivik to the maximum 21 years prison on Friday for terrorism and the murder of 77 people, after declaring him sane. On 22 July 2011, Breivik set off a car bomb near government buildings in Oslo,killing 8, and then massacred 69 participants in a Labour Party youth camp  on the nearby island of Utoeya (killing all 77 victims) claiming he was defending Norway from multiculturalism. Breivik had hoped his car bomb in Oslo would kill  the whole government, and had also hoped to kill all those on Utoeya – more than 500 in all.

Celebrities like Cecilia Braekhus (Norway’s leading female boxer),John Carew (footballer), Mira Sheridan Craig (took the Norwegian music industry by storm in 2005 with her singles “Boogeyman” and “Headhunted”) and Hadia Tajik (Norwegian-Pakistani Labour party politician) demonstrate the richness of Norway’s multicultural community.

Norway has a thriving multicultural community. A lot of  people of colour live in the country but it was only after November 1998 that a black man played for the Drillos (Norway’s national football team). There are about 423, 000 immigrants living in Norway and 86, 000 Norwegians with immigrant parents. Together these two groups make up 10.6 percent of Norway’s population of 4,952,000.The greatest population growth ever in Norway’s history was registered in the first quarter of 2012. Immigration accounted for 80 per cent of this growth as immigrants are also becoming an important aspect of football in Norway. I don’t think Anders Behring Breivik will be happy with these figures.


Just check the  Norwegian line up.It is composed of non-ethnic Norwegians:Yaw Ihle Amankwah (Sandefjord Fotball,Ghana),Mounir Hamoud (Strømsgodset IF,Morocco),Ruben Lunan Gabrielsen (Lillestrøm),Tarik Elyounoussi (Rosenborg, Morocco),Mohammed Fellah (Vålerenga,Morocco),Mohammed “Moa” Abdellaoue (Hannover 96,Morocco),Mustafa “Mos” Abdellaoue (F.C. Copenhagen,Morocco),Alexander Banor Tettey (Norwich City,Ghana),Hassan El Fakiri (SK Brann, Morocco),John Carew (Unattched,Gambia).Strømsgodset IF goalkeeper is the only exception here as he now represents Ghana.

Football players with immigrant roots such as John Carew are a big inspiration for young immigrant boys in Norway.Many young immigrants look up to him as a role model.

John Carew has played 91 times for Norway, and was the first black player to play for Norway and was part of their Euro 2000 squad (the last Norway squad to play in a major tournament). He made his full international debut on 18 November 1998.He’s paved the way for players like Mohammed Abdellaoue,Tettey,Daniel Omoya Braaten and Elyounoussi.During the EURO 2008 qualifying campaign, Carew scored four goals and contributed two assists in ten games. Norway failed to qualify for Euro 2008, ending up third place, one point behind Turkey.


Alieu. The word means “strength” in the Gambian homeland of John Carew’s father,a one-time goalkeeper. It is also the proud footballer’s middle name. Carew Senior left Gambia to seek for greener pastures at a very young age.Norway was his final destination after his long journey to Europe. In Norway,the immigrant found what he wanted: a job,a house,a woman and a future.That’s how far Carew Senior’s ‘alieu’ took him.

John Carew has also shown that strength on and off the pitch. John Carew (32) is currently a free agent and last played for West Ham United.Carew has played 91 times for the Norwegian national team scoring 24 goals in the process.He has been popular in his native country since he caught the attention of the sporting public at just 17.Alieu has always taken his duties seriously. Aged only 17, Carew worked with an anti-racism group in Norway, which had been set up by his friend Farid Bouras, working with youths who were supposed to go to jail but who were taken to a place where they could work, study and read.

At 32, Carew is a senior player who has spent the past 11 years at Rosenborg,then Valencia, Roma,Besiktas,Lyon,Aston Villa and Stoke City before arriving at West Ham.He has played for world class coaches, among others, Vicente Del Bosque at Beşiktaş and when at Roma, Russia’s new head coach Fabio Capello.

Born on September 5 ,1979 to a Gambian father,  and a Norwegian mother,John Alieu Carew was picked up by his hometown football team, Lørenskog,a minor club within the Akershus region, just outside Oslo. His reputation quickly grew and a move to the capital inevitably followed when he signed for Vålerenga, a big name in Norwegian football but one that had fallen from grace. In his first season they gained immediate promotion back to the top division and also won the Norwegian Cup, following that with the last eight of the Cup-Winners’ Cup.

In November 1998, having just turned 19 two months earlier, Carew became the first black player to represent Norway and, much to the dismay of Valerenga’s fans the then still only 20-year old moved to Norwegian football’s most successful club of the past decade and champions league mainstays Rosenborg, scoring 19 goals in only 17 games and a further five in the Champions League. During his two year period at the club he won the  Norgesmesterskap (Norwegian Football Cup) while his profile rose even more due to his skill and goal scoring ability.During his short spell at the club, Rosenborg proved to be a highly formidable team winning many of their UEFA Champions League group matches.


It was an extraordinary rise and was capped with a €8.5 million move to Spain, playing in the 2001 UEFA Champions League Final (and scoring in the penalty shoot-out that was eventually lost to Bayern Munich).He moved to Spanish club Valencia in 2000, where he managed to win La Liga twice. Carew asked to have his middle name Alieu at the back of his jersey but his request was turned down.His goals in the  2001 UEFA Champions League campaign were crucial, including a 75th minute header in a 1–0 home win against Arsenal in the second leg of the quarter-final, which saw Valencia advance to the semi-final.

In the 2002/03 Champions League campaign, Carew was once again responsible for the exit of Arsenal. With Valencia needing a win in their final game of the second group phase at home against Arsenal to progress to the quarter finals, Carew scored twice in a 2–1 victory. El Vikingo spent the 2003–04 season on loan at Italian side Roma where he scored 7 goals in 26 games.The 6ft 4in striker with an imposing physique rates his season on loan in Serie A as the trickiest time he’s had in his career. The Norwegian did not have the happiest of times in Rome.

Carew is very lucky to have had Capello as his coach. He’s a winner. Capello has just been everywhere and won everywhere.From Milan until now he’s just a great manager.Capello is certainly not a man to be crossed. But then neither is Carew, who once got into a dispute with John Arne Riise when the two were on international duty with Norway ahead of a friendly match against Portugal in 2003. The Fulham defender spat on Carew’s boots and such was the latter’s anger that when the players eventually boarded the team bus he sought out Riise and hit him. Carew was sent home for hitting Riise.


Carew moved to Turkey with Beşiktaş in 2004 where he scored 14 goals in 27 games for the Istanbul side.

After the 2004/05 season, he moved to Olympique Lyon in France for €7.6 million with whom he won Ligue 1 in the 2005–06 season.He also won the Trophée des Champions (Super Cup) that year.

Fabio Capello still admires Carew, even if the latter did not have the happiest of times in Rome. Capello hailed The Hulk as a great player after a Champions League tie, in which Carew helped Lyon earn a 2-2 draw with Capello’s Real Madrid.Carew scored 14 goals in 48 games after two years with the French club.


In 2007, Carew signed for Aston Villa in an exchange deal with Lyon for Milan Baroš.Carew penned a three-and-a-half year deal at the Birmingham-based club.He was Villa’s top scorer for the 2007–08 season netting 13 times in the English Premiership.

He scored a hat-trick as Aston Villa came from two goals behind to defeat Reading 4–2 in the 09/10 FA Cup quarter final. He was the club’s joint top scorer (17 goals in all competitions) with Gabriel Agbonlahor for the 2009–10 season.

In 2009,Carew  was fined two weeks wages by Martin O’Neill for being in a pub near a Birmingham lap dancing club the night before Villa’s UEFA cup group stage match with Ajax.

Carew joined Stoke City on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season on 21 January 2011.He scored 2 goals in 13 games for the Potters as a back injury slowed his progress in a Stoke shirt.

After his release from Villa,he moved to West Ham.John Carew was declared bankrupt over unpaid taxes during his time at West Ham.The Norwegian international,who earned £40,000 a week at former club Aston Villa was believed to owe a six-figure sum.

To add insult to injury,the newly promoted West Ham United released John Carew at the end of his contract.Carew scored twice in 21 appearances after the Norwegian striker joined from Aston Villa at the start of last season.

West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, also released Julien Faubert,Abdoulaye Faye,Papa Bouba Diop, striker Frank Nouble and young midfielder Olly Lee, the son of the former Hammers and England midfielder Rob Lee.The defender Faye and the midfielder Diop also arrived on one-year contracts last summer.


Injuries, still a bane for him, a loss of form and a disappointing goals return have been his nemesis. Carew sustained back injuries that kept him out of the Villa side for several months.His place in the team was taken by Emile Heskey limiting him to cameo appearances from the bench. As the season progressed, Carew’s first team appearances became less frequent.His chances were limited  under the new system under manager Gérard Houllier. However when Villa signed Darren Bent for £18 million, Carew’s first team opportunities were further reduced and that was the end of his Villa days.

Carew puts his success in the game down to his proud parents who have supported him throughout his career and still come to watch him occasionally.

Cecilia Braekhus , Mira Sheridan Craig,John Carew and co can now continue living their ‘normal’ lives now that Breivik is locked up for ‘good’.

Norway’s immigrants will forever remember him  for his good qualities.Carew is a winner and does not like to lose. The energy he gives is his strength.That’s the ‘alieu’ in him.




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