Afro football fever: Africa’s first World Cup: Africa has been playing ยูฟ่าเบท and following football for over a century and a half. Despite its British origins it became the dominant sport in the colonies of every European empire.
Afro football fever: Africa’s first World Cup
Despite its imperial connotations it served, widely, as an instrument of the independence movements and, later, in the shape of CAF and the continental tournaments it created, a practical example of pan-African co-operation and identity. By the early 1990s Africa was considered the third continent in global football, its national sides way ahead of Asia and Central America at the Ufabet World Cup, its best players finding their way to the top of European football, and its administrators a real power bloc in the politics of FIFA.
Its domestic football was often erratic, but the biggest clubs, and the great derbies that had developed, were drawing enormous crowds, and the fever for playing and watching the game was palpable.
Thus, twenty years later, Africa’s first World Cup was serving as a cipher for the rising status and immense potential of the world’s youngest continent in an increasingly globalized world. Certainly the successful staging of the South African World Cup was a blow against the Afro-pessimists and their ยูฟ่าเบท scaremongering. It was possible to discern something of the continent’s intense relationship with football in its manufactured spaces, filled by the intense buzzing of ten thousand vuvuzelas, Pentecostal choirs in the stands, and every African uniting behind the Ghanaians.
African football has not, however, delivered on the promise of the late twentieth century. It has held a World Cup, but its national teams have not performed any better on the world stage, and are losing ground to the rapid development of Asian football. Its ufabet football administrators and politicians have ceded influence in the corridors of power to their richer Asian competitors.
At the same time, the domestic game has been in decline across the continent, haemorrhaging fans and players to the rest of the world. It has not, across the board, fallen as far or as terminally as Liberian football, crushed by a decade of civil war and the devastating Ebola virus, but it can appear in many nations that the ยูฟ่าเบท football dead outweigh the living.
South Africa 2010 offered a few clues as to why this should be, but rather than try and gauge the state of the African game from the heart of the global spectacle, we might have done better by leaving the stadium and heading out into the city.