The History of African Football

I’m spending much of my free time (if I have any), watching what I can of the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola. Which is a good time to also catch up on the rich history of African football especially before long no one will know or care about it. I mean, how many of you know that well before European nations could get their act together Africans had organized and held its first continental competition and the role of football in political struggles.

[“Africa Kicks,” BBC radio documentary]

[football scholar Paul Darby on the Africa Past & Present Podcast]

* The art is that of Tsevis.



Sean Jacobs

Also goes by Hasan Wazan. Life President.

  1. Darby's post is a gem. Thanks Sean.
    Btw, did you see the slide show of the world cup soccer stadiums in today's Mail & Guardian? Interesting commentary on what will become of them after the world cup.

  2. Sorry – last half of my comments got somehow cut off:
    I wonder if the soccer teams in places like Polokwane, Rustenberg, Nelspruit have enough of a fan base to fill the stadiums regularly so they don't become white elephants like the Zimbabwe stadiums of the 1980s. Greenpoint stadium in Cape Town has a location that is far, both in distance and psychologically, from its fan base. Will this be problematic or will this become a sorely needed draw for the working class and poor of to claim a beautiful part of their own city?

  3. Yes on Darby. The BBC one is more slick, but equally worth a listen — on Nkrumah's use of football and football and the Algerian independence struggle against France

    On the stadiums, that's sadly their fate.

    On the upside– when I used to visit Johannesburg I went to matches at FNB stadium where the new stadium for the final has been built. Fans always filled it for the games between Chiefs, Sundowns and Pirates so that won't be an issue. Of course how many times a season do they play against each other?

    I like the idea of Green Point Stadium–despite it's odd origins–but it can be a catalyst for remaking race in that racist city. And btw football fans from the townships used to go to games at the stadium that was demolished so the new one could be built

  4. I enjoyed this article. It helped to shine some light on some things that I've often wondered but didn't know where to begin to look. Thank you!

    Be sure to check out my new football book about my husband and his two brothers that play professional football.

Mailing List

Sign up for email updates!


Not the continent with 54 countries

©Africa is a Country, 2016