In 2014, sportsdirect.com reported that almost 30 per cent of their sales of the new official Chelsea shirts were from Lagos alone. In the distant Omo Valley of Southern Ethiopia, lip plates and scarification are giving way to a new ยูฟ่าเบท aesthetic of recycled European clothing, in which football shirts are prized for their blocks of intense colour.
African football and their specific encounters with global forces
Like every other aspect of African society, football has been linked to global economic, technological and cultural networks that have put the continent at a disadvantage, and accentuated rather that narrowed existing inequalities between Africa and the world.
First, and most significantly, as our short tour through the African city suggests, African domestic football has been marginalized culturally and reduced to penury by the arrival of satellite television and the mass export of fans’ affections and custom to Ufabet European football in general, and the English Premier League in particular.
Second, Africa continues to export its best and most highly skilled people, and football players are at the very head of the pack. Indeed, since the turn of the century the number of football migrants has risen, which has impoverished the local game as a spectacle, and has as yet to improve its finances, skills base or infrastructure.
Third, Africa’s stadiums were so neglected in the late twentieth century that they became increasingly deadly, prone to stampedes, riots and fires. In the absence of any investment from elsewhere, African football, along with much of the rest of the continent, has turned to China. As part of their vast soft-power initiative in Africa, the Chinese have built almost all of the continent’s new stadiums – fit to stage televised spectaculars and presidential rallies.
As with so many infrastructure projects in Africa, it is not clear that they are of any benefit to anyone else – not least the clubs who cannot afford to rent them, the fans who can’t reach their distant locations, or the players, who might benefit more from some ยูฟ่าเบท new boots and balls than secure underground car parks.
Pharaonic in concept and execution, the staging of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in these new stadiums provides a powerful lens on the politics of Africa’s oil states and the dynamics of contemporary African urban development.
Exploring these features of contemporary African football, before turning to Africa’s regions and their more specific encounters with these global forces. In West Africa issues of governance, corruption and football violence are paramount; in East and Central Africa, football has had to survive gruelling civil and international wars; while in Southern Africa, in Zimbabwe in particular, the game has been used, consumed and diminished by Mugabe and ZANU-PF’s unquenchable will to power.