New Book: African Soccerscapes

By Peter Alegi | April 22nd, 2010 8 Comments

cover_9780896802780Released ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, my new book African Soccerscapes tells the little-known story of football in Africa. Published by Ohio University Press in North America and Hurst & Co. in Europe and Africa, the book is both a history and an examination of the connections between sport and society. Using case studies from around the continent, I show how Africans appropriated soccer from Europeans and turned it into a distinctively African activity during the twentieth century.

African players, fans, and officials challenged colonial power and expressed a commitment to racial equality and self-determination.  In postcolonial times, new nations staged matches in national stadiums as part of their independence cele­brations and joined FIFA. The Confédération Africaine de Football democratized the global game through antiapartheid sanctions and increased the number of African teams in the World Cup finals.

African Soccerscapes analyzes the causes and effects of the departure of huge numbers of African players to overseas clubs and the dominance of commercial interests in local leagues. Finally, a consideration of the growth of women’s soccer and South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup challenges the one-dimensional notion of Africa as a backward, “tribal” continent populated by victims of war, corruption, famine, and disease.

Look for stories from African Soccerscapes on this blog, as well as news and updates about book events, talks, media coverage and more.




April 22nd, 2010 | 9:09 pm    

Well done Peter.
Can’t wait to read it.


April 22nd, 2010 | 9:48 pm    

Messi is a fantastic player but can we wait just a bit before he is crowned an immortal? In the five decades that I have played, read, wrote, and loved the game I have seen many wonderful players and he is among the best, and yet, why the mad rush?

Solomon Waliaula

April 22nd, 2010 | 11:28 pm    

Great! that will be the second complete book on African football that I’ll have in my literature review! So far I have only one, by this same Peter. I can’t wait to read it…I wonder if it will reach East Africa anytime soon.


April 22nd, 2010 | 11:34 pm    

Not sure whether it’s a “mad rush’ or a recognition of fact spread worldwide by satellite TV and internet. I remember watching Maradona, Platini and Falcao in serie A in the 1980s in Italy and my eyes don’t lie. Messi is right up there with the greatest, and he’s only 22! For me, Messi really stands out in today’s football dominated by defensivism, hyper-physicality, 4-5-1 tactics, and overly mechanistic movements. I have sneaking suspicion that Messi is going to dismantle Inter in the second leg of the CL semifinal next week . . .

Rodney Reiners

April 23rd, 2010 | 1:09 am    

Well done, Peter. Like Solomons says, it adds another to my collection of football books on the shelf. (When I get it, of course)…..As alluded to in my SMS to you, I still haven’t got it. But patience is a virtue. I hope that Maritzburg is still going strong, that the twins are having a jol, and Kate’s getting on well.


April 23rd, 2010 | 9:32 am    

I agree with Peter in regards to Messi.
A little man for big occasions, like the very best Zizu.
It will be interesting to follow him through the summer to see what he can do for Argentina despite the team’s management.

Claudia Makumbe

April 24th, 2010 | 1:35 pm    

Great job Peter!! Looking forward to reading it, and, if appropriate, use it for my sportsociology classes at University.
Hope the twins and Kate are well!
Claudia & Eustuce


July 7th, 2010 | 9:16 am    

Well done Peter…i was at Rhodes University when you came to talk about African Soccer Landscapes. I’m looking to write a book on my World Cup experience as an African. (before, during and after the World Cup.)

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