We’re allowed to talk about the 2010 World Cup until 2014. Later today our man, historian of African soccer, Peter Alegi, will deliver the keynote address at the 7th Sports in Africa Symposium at Ohio University. Since few of us are in Athens, don’t panic: The whole thing–including Peter’s keynote–will be webcasted live here. Here’s the description:
Peter Alegi – Michigan State University
From Marginalization to Global Citizenship: Africa’s First World Cup in Historical Perspective
The day after Spain defeated The Netherlands in the World Cup final at the Soccer City in Johannesburg, global media celebrated South Africa’s successful hosting of the planet’s greatest sporting event. “South Africa’s triumph in being host to the World Cup can no longer be questioned,” wrote the International Herald Tribune. South African media were inundated by a tidal wave of self-congratulatory statements much like Mark Gevisser’s “We did it, we showed the world.” Other local commentators saw the World Cup as a Steve Biko-like moment of black pride, achievement and self-awareness.
Alegi’s lecture reflects more deeply on the ways in which the 2010 World Cup fits into a long history of Africa’s contributions to the globalization of soccer, from colonial times to the present. His scholarly assessment of the 2010 World Cup’s impact on South Africa should deepen our understanding of the intertwined nature of soccer, politics, business, and culture in twenty-first-century Africa.