African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World’s Game

By | March 31, 2018

Chapter Three: “Making Nations in Late Colonial Africa, 1940s—1964”

“Stadiums and clubhouses became areas in which workers, intellectuals, business owners, and the unemployed challenged colonial power and expressed a shared commitment to racial equality and self-determination. Football constructed a fragile sense of nationhood in political entities arbitrarily created by colonial powers and fueled Africa’s broader quest for liberation.”

This quote stood out to me because it encompasses much of what we have discussed this semester about how soccer creates this nexus between politics, sport, and independence movements, and how the stadium can function as a separate entity where people from of different races and socioeconomic status can come together and act as equals. Additionally, it shows how soccer gave these colonies as sense of identity and purpose, as not only was the sport used in South America, but also in Africa, specifically in Nigeria, Algeria, and South Africa as a way to rally support to fight against puppet regimes or colonial power. Furthermore, in tying this quote back to the title African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World’s Game, it seems like the soccer, and by extension the stadiums and clubhouses, became this escape of “soccerscape” and that instead of the continent changing the world’s game, one could argue that Soccer changed the continent because it gave these colonies something to fight for.

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