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ISBN 9783030948658

Football (Soccer) in Africa

Origins, Contributions, and Contradictions





Palgrave MacMillan


This volume provides an analysis of the history, origins, and development of football in Africa. It brings together an edited assemblage of essays that describe and analyse football in nine African countries, including Cameroon, DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda, from a social science perspective. The selection of these countries highlights the three major foreign languages and powers that have governed the continent; The English, the French, and Arabic, and provides a prism through which to analyze and compare how football developed in the various countries throughout Africa.

This comparative methodology allow readers to identify similarities and differences in the progression of the game on the continent, and by focusing on football, an important relic of European colonialism in Africa, underscores the continued dependence on, and domination of Europeans on the Africans. In situating the genesis of the game, contributors examine and analyze the history, development, management, and mismanagement by bureaucrats at the political level as well as at various football federations throughout the continent.


Introduction: Football (Soccer) in Africa: Origins, Contributions, and Contradictions, 1
Augustine E. Ayuk

FIFA and Football Development in Africa, 25
Njororai Wycliffe W. Simiyu

The Confederation of African Football (CAF): Origins, Accomplishments, and Challenges, 55
Peter Ajongwa Ngwafu, Augustine E. Ayuk

Football in Cameroon, Best of Times, Worst of Times: Exploring the Paradox of Africa’s Venerable Football Nation, 77
Augustine E. Ayuk

Historicizing Football Nigeria: Disciplinary, Governmentality, and Resistance Within Football Labor’s Struggle, 103
Chuka Onwumechili

Football in DR Congo: A Critical Account of “Congolese Football”, 125
Tamba Nlandu

Football in Egypt: Between Joy and Politics, 147
Hala Thabet

The History and Development of Football in Ghana, 165
Kwame B. Dankwa

The Politics of Soccer Management in Kenya: The Rise and Decline of a Popular Sport, 189
Wanjala S. Nasong’o

Soccer in Senegal: National Identity, Commercialization, and Acquisition of Wealth, 213
Tamba E. M’bayo

Contradictions and Inconsistencies Facing the South African Football Association and the Premier Soccer League, 231
David L. Bogopa

The Origins, Status, Contributions and Contradictions of Association Football in Uganda, 253
Njororai Wycliffe W. Simiyu

Vicious Cycle: Cameroon(ization) and/or Foreign(ization) of the Indomitable Lions’ Head Coaching, 275
Alain Lawo-Sukam

Conclusion, 299
Augustine E. Ayuk


AYUK, Augustine E.. Football (Soccer) in Africa: Origins, Contributions, and Contradictions. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2022.
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