Portal:Football in Africa


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Cameroon's Benoît Assou-Ekotto jostles for possession with Mustapha Allaoui of Morocco

Football is the most popular sport in Africa. Indeed, football is probably the most popular sport in every African country, although rugby and cricket are also very popular in South Africa. (Full article...)

Football was first introduced to Africa in the early 1860s by Europeans,[1] due to the colonisation of Africa. The first recorded games were played in South Africa in 1862 between soldiers and civil servants and there were no established rules for the game at this time;[2]" Initially, there were various forms of playing the game, which included elements of both rugby and soccer. It was not until October 26, 1863 that the "rules of association football were codified."[2] The first official football organization in Africa, Pietermaritzburg County Football Association, was established in 1880.Teams were being established in South Africa before 1900, Egypt and in Algeria during a similar time period. Savages FC (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa), and Gezira SC are the oldest African football clubs that remain in existence. Both began play in 1882 followed by Alexandria SC (1890), CDJ Oran from Algeria in 1894 and CAL Oran from Algeria too in 1897. By the 1930s, football was being played in Central Africa. In 1882, the first national governing body on the content was formed, South African Football Association (SAFA). SAFA was a whites-only association that became the first member of FIFA in South Africa in 1910.[2]
Egyptian Olympic football team, 1928
As Africa is a highly superstitious continent many African teams depend on witch doctors for success.[3][4][5][6][7] Activities that witch doctors have performed for teams include cutting players, placing potions on equipment, and sacrificing animals.[8]

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Ivory Coast national football team before a match against Poland on 17 November 2010
The Ivory Coast national football team (French: Équipe de football de Côte d'Ivoire, recognized as the Côte d'Ivoire by FIFA) represents Ivory Coast in men's international football. Nicknamed the Elephants, the team is managed by the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF). Until 2005, their greatest accomplishment was winning the 1992 African Cup of Nations against Ghana on penalties at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar, Senegal. Their second success came in 2015, again defeating Ghana on penalties in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. The team represents both FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The team had their best run between 2006 and 2014 when they qualified for three consecutive FIFA World Cups.

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Victor Wanyama playing for Celtic in 2012
Victor Wanyama is a Kenyan footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and captains the Kenya national team.

After a successful trial, Wanyama signed for Beerschot AC on a four-year contract in summer 2008. He made his debut in a League match at the end of the 2008–09 season. In the summer of 2010 Scottish Premier League club Celtic attempted to sign Wanyama but Beerschot did not allow him to leave. Russian club CSKA Moscow also attempted to sign him, but they failed as well. He scored his first goal for Beerschot on 11 December 2010, a 77th minute equaliser against Westerlo.

On 9 July 2011, Wanyama completed a £900,000 move to Celtic from Beerschot AC, who had failed to sign him a year earlier. He signed a four-year contract and in doing so became the first ever Kenyan to play in the SPL. Wanyama chose 67 as his squad number to honour the Lisbon Lions, Celtic's 1967 European Cup winning team. He made his Celtic league debut in a 1–0 loss to St Johnstone on 21 August 2011. He played in central defence rather than his favoured central midfield role.

Wanyama became the first ever Kenyan player to score in the UEFA Champions League when he scored the first goal in Celtic's historic 2–1 win over Barcelona on 7 November 2012. He scored the first goal with a powerful header before Tony Watt added a second late on.

On 11 July 2013, Wanyama moved to Premier League club Southampton for £12.5 million making him the most expensive player to be sold by a Scottish club, surpassing the £9.5 million Russian club Spartak Moscow paid for Aiden McGeady in 2010. He became the first ever Kenyan to play in the Premier League when he made his debut for Southampton against West Bromwich Albion on 17 August 2013.

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A US Navy lieutenant plays football with a Djiboutian boy at an orphanage in Djibouti City, Djibouti.
Credit: United States Department of Defense

A U.S. Navy lieutenant plays football with a Djiboutian boy at an orphanage in Djibouti City. Football in Djibouti is controlled by the Djiboutian Football Federation and the nation has been a member of FIFA since 1994.


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  1. ^ "The History Of Soccer In Africa". NPR.org. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  2. ^ a b c Alegi, Peter (2010). African Soccerscapes. Ohio University Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 9780896802780.
  3. ^ Frimpong, Enoch Darfah. "Ghana news: A world of superstition, frustration and disillusionment - Graphic Online". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Kangemi Journal; For Spellbinding Soccer, the Juju Man's on the Ball". NY Times. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  5. ^ "World Cup Witchcraft: Africa Teams Turn to Magic for Aid". National Geographic. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  6. ^ Andy Mitten (September 2010). The Rough Guide to Cult Football. ISBN 9781405387965. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  7. ^ "African Nations Cup overshadowed by hocus pocus | Football". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  8. ^ Kuper, Simon (2006). Soccer Against the Enemy: How the World's Most Popular Sport Starts and Stops Wars, Fuels Revolutions, and Keeps Dictators in Power. Nation Books. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-56025-878-0.