African Soccerscapes: A Review

By | March 21, 2020

Soccer has been utilized as a civilization tool. (Alegi 1) This was accomplished by the use of ports and railroads by colonial militaries and police forces. (8) Additionally, mission schools and government schools became involved and promoted soccer by integrating soccer into the curriculum. (9) This was a win-win for both Africans and colonist (13) Furthermore, the role of educated Africans and their involvement in government level soccer was significant (16) Through self-reliance and solidarity, Africans created a resistance towards social inequality and colonialism against the government, missionaries, and private companies. (22-23) Inyanga served the soccer teams to improve their play by the simple use of magic. (27) This revolutionized Africa as Africans developed their own style of soccer – like any other country – Africanization. (32) 

Similarly, the building of new stadiums, the crowds growing, increased involvement and representation of African soccer in FIFA was the visualization of the shaping of a new culture that became universal by the 1940s. (35, 55) The establishment of black-controlled football sports clubs aided to combat colonial racism and encourage a sense of identity among Nigerians. Likewise, the formation of a “national” football team in Algeria by the National Liberation Front. Last but not least, the use of football to challenge apartheid – institutionalized racial segregation. (36) Importantly, Nnamdi Azikiwe had an impactful role in African history as he helped establish the Nigerian identity. (41) 

The development of the Confédération africaine de football (CAF) created a new epoch. Although some soccer academies are seen as neo-colonial exploitation, the establishment of these academies has helped form the African soccer players playing today (116-118) Increased visibility in African soccer players; however, there is still racism towards them. (84)

Alegi does a great job of explaining and creating a mental picture of the emergence of football in Africa. If he were to continue and update this book, it would be great if Mbappe and Asisat Oshoala could be included since they are renowned African soccer players. (FIFA 1) Also, the inclusion of France as an “African team” could be further elaborated. Regarding women in soccer, expanding that section while including unequal pay, poor publicity, abuse, sexism, and harassment would be great. (CNN, 1) Lastly, including the impact of music in the epilogue of the 2010 World Cup: K’naan’s Wavin’ Flag and Shakira’s Waka Waka would be inspiring. Since the 2010 world cup is my favorite thus far, I would like to invite you to reminisce on the following clips:


FIFA World Cup™ – 2010 Memories

K’NAAN – Wavin’ Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)

K`naan & David Bisbal Wavin’ Flag Video (Spanglish)

Shakira – Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) (The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Song)

Waka Waka (Esto es Africa) (Cancion Oficial de la Copa Mundial de la FIFA™ Sudafrica 2010)




Alegi, Peter. African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World’s Game. Ohio University Press, 2010.

FIFA World Cup™ – 2010 Memories. YouTube, FIFATV, Sep 10, 2013, “2018 FIFA World Cup™  – News – Golden Consolation for Magical Modric.”,, 15 July 2018, “FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ – News – Best of Women’s Football in Africa Celebrated in Egypt.”, 8 Jan. 2020,

K’NAAN – Wavin’ Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix). YouTube, Knaan, Mar 5, 2010,

K`naan & David Bisbal Wavin’ Flag Video (Spanglish). YouTube, David Bisbal, Jan 31, 2010,

Salaudeen, Aisha. “African Female Footballers Face Uphill Battle to Play a ‘Man’s Game’.” CNN, Cable News Network, 20 June 2019,

Shakira – Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) (The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Song). YouTube, Shakira, Jun 4, 2010,

Waka Waka (Esto es Africa) (Cancion Oficial de la Copa Mundial de la FIFA™ Sudafrica 2010). YouTube, Shakira, Jun 14, 2010,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *