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Other titles in the Africa in World History series:
African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World's Game (Africa in World History)by Peter Alegi
Synopses & Reviews
From Accra and Algiers to Zanzibar and Zululand, Africans have wrested control of soccer from the hands of Europeans, and through the rise of different playing styles, the rituals of spectatorship, and the presence of magicians and healers, have turned soccer into a distinctively African activity.
African Soccerscapes explores how Africans adopted soccer for their own reasons and on their own terms. Soccer was a rare form of “national culture” in postcolonial Africa, where stadiums and clubhouses became arenas in which Africans challenged colonial power and expressed a commitment to racial equality and self-determination. New nations staged matches as part of their independence celebrations and joined the world body, FIFA. The Confédération africaine de football democratized the global game through antiapartheid sanctions and increased the number of African teams in the World Cup finals.
In this compact, highly readable book Alegi shows that the result of this success has been the departure of huge numbers of players to overseas clubs and the growing influence of private commercial interests on the African game. But the growth of women’s soccer and South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup also challenge the one-dimensional notion of Africa as a backward, “tribal” continent populated by victims of war, corruption, famine, and disease.
Book News Annotation:
This is an academic study of the history of soccer on the continent of Africa. Alegi (history, Michigan State U.) moves chronologically from the sport's European imperial introduction and subsequent dissemination across the continent in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the "Africanization" of the game in the interwar 1920s-1940s. In chapter three, Alegi presents cases in Nigeria, Algeria, and South African illustrating soccer's role in African independence movements. The narration continues with accounts of soccer developments during decolonization, including the establishment of the Confederation of African Football. Subsequent chapters examine the migration of African soccer players to Europe's professional leagues, and the increasing commercialization of African soccer from the 1980's to recent times. The history culminates in an epilogue wherein the impending (at the time of writing) 2010 World Cup, hosted by South Africa, is discussed. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
African Soccerscapes explores how Africans adopted soccer for their own reasons and on their own terms. The Confédération Africaine de Football democratized the global game through antiapartheid sanctions and increased the number of African teams in the World Cup finals. The unfortunate results of this success are the departure of huge numbers of players to overseas clubs and the influence of private commercial interests on the African game. But the growth of the women’s game and South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup also challenge the one-dimensional notion of Africa as a backward, “tribal” continent populated by victims of war, corruption, famine, and disease.
About the Author
Peter Alegi is an associate professor of history at Michigan State University and the author of Laduma! Soccer, Politics, and Society in South Africa. He is an editorial board member of the International Journal of African Historical Studies and book review editor of Soccer and Society.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
The White Mans Burden”
Football and Empire, 1860s1919
The Africanization of Football, 1920s1940s
Making Nations in Late Colonial Africa, 1940s1964
Nationhood, Pan-Africanism, and Football after Independence
Football Migration to Europe since the 1930s
The Privatization of Football, 1980s to Recent Times
South Africa 2010: The World Cup Comes to Africa
Series Editors Note
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