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 African Soccerscapes :  how a continent changed the world's game© 2010/Peter Alegi

African soccerscapes : how a continent changed the world's game

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. 

 Football 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.

 Regional 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. 

 Huge 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.

Peter Alegi is associate professor of African History at Michigan State University.  He is the author of Laduma! Soccer, Politics, and Society in South Africa. Alegi co-hosts the Africa Past and Present podcast - the most widely accessed academic podcast about African affairs(afripod.aodl.org)  
The author coaching in Khayelitsha, South Africa, 1993    
Source: African soccerscapes : how a continent changed the world's game / Peter Alegi
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