African soccerscapes : how a continent changed the world's
From Africa and Algiers to Zanzibar
and Zululand, African football today reflects the history
and culture of those who play the game and how they have
shaped it in a distinctively African manner.
may obey global rules, but the influence of magicians and
healers, the nurturing of different tactics and styles of
play, and local forms of spectatorship give football in the
continent a cultural and sporting imprint all of its own. In
African Soccerscapes Peter Alegis explores how
football was influenced by colonialism, the growth of
cities, independence, and globalisation.
differences and the links between sport, culture and
politics feature prominently in his book. In the
independent era football offered a rare form of
"national culture" in ethnically diverse nations and
symbolised pan-African unity and solidarity through the
anti-apartheid struggle and the campaign for more guaranteed
places for African teams in the World Cup finals.
numbers of Africans play overseas, disproportionately
rewarding European leagues at Africa's expense, and this
phenomenon is discussed, as are the recent privatisation of
the African game, football development programmes and the
growth of women's football.