Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note

Being the editor of a journal is a lesson in humility and patience.  Humility is necessary because this is much one cannot control.  Previously, I have mentioned my goal as editor is to establish a regular schedule for producing the journal.  Obviously, that goal is still to be realized.  So many other things have a more immediate priority and demand attention now that it is easy to delay work on the journal.  In 2012, I took on a new position in the university and it has consumed the vast majority of my time.  Here is where patience was necessary, both on the part of authors who have submitted manuscripts, and on my part in the belief that eventually I would finish editing this volume. Delay seems to be a persistent element of publishing.

Let me welcome you to Volume 8 of IMPUMELELO.  The 2101 World Cup in South Africa continues to draw researcher’s interests.  Astrid Vogel’s article examines the issue of identity for the 2010 World Cup among football supporters in Grahamstown.  She is seeking to determine in what ways their support, and level of it, affected their identities and in turn how their identities influenced their level of support. The article demonstrates that identities can be highly fluid and variable over time, depending on the level of engagement of the supporter.  The second article examines the issue of Nigerian footballer’s migration.  Professor Chuka Onwumechili tracks the incidences of the migration of Nigerian footballers, comparing decades of movement. The article establishes three clear stages of the migration and documents the rationale for the migration for each stage.  Finally, it investigates the impact on the migration on media coverage of the national team and the stability of the national playing squads.

Lastly, this volume has two book reviews. The first by Professor Robert Rodriquez is a critical examination of the Zambian sporting scene, using a book by Walubita as his foil.  He analyses the most current edition while pointing out problems with the volume especially on the topics of discrimination and racism.  The second review by Jennifer McArdle is on African Soccerscapes, a book by Professor Peter Alegi. His book is very ambitious in scope, covering many years and countries, and successfully challenges established ideas about soccer in Africa. It is an entertaining and informative read.

I hope you find something here of interest and ideas that enlighten.  As always, we welcome comments and suggestions.  If you are moved to submit and article for consideration, please check our web site for guidelines: http://www.ohio.edu/sportsafrica/journal/submission.htm.

Bob J. Walter
General Editor
walter@ohio.edu

Questions of Identity at the 2010 World Cup – A Case Study of Grahamstown’s Football Supporters

Questions of Identity at the 2010 World Cup – A Case Study of Grahamstown’s Football Supporters

Astrid Vogel
vogel_astrid@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT
This article focuses on the ways in which football supporters in Grahamstown supported teams participating in the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup. It seeks to determine in what ways their support was affected by their identities and how their support may in turn have affected their identities. Giulianotti’s[1] ‘ideal’ category framework (with particular focus on the distinction between ‘fans’ and ‘flâneurs’) is used and critiqued. This article also uses Crawford’s[2] ‘fan career’ framework  to better understand the phenomenon of football support during the Football World Cup. Both of these frameworks are limited, however, as they are based on club football support. The author has further considered the influence and interaction of the interest in the event, impact of the event on the individual, and the individual’s identification with the event on their engagement with the event. Additionally, the author places emphasis on performativity theory[3] and its elaboration to include the influence of space[4] regarding the perception of what a ‘real’ fan involves, as well as the enactment of embarrassment over uncompetitiveness. Finally, the article considers the ways in which football is consumed during the World Cup tournament.

INTRODUCTION

This article considers the meanings that the 2010 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) Football World Cup had for a selection of fans in Grahamstown. The main focus is on the ways in which Grahamstonians supported teams participating in the Football World Cup, to determine in what ways their support was affected by their identities, and how their support may in turn have affected their identities.  Because the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup was held in South Africa, one must note that the national team was not competitive and a large number of South Africans expected the team to do poorly. Therefore, my research focused on how South African followers supported their national team and whether they additionally supported other teams from the start of the tournament.

In general, I use the term ‘fan’ to describe all supporters; however at times, I also use the distinction Giulianotti[5] has made between what he calls ‘fans’ (individuals interested in the team or sport for its own sake) and flâneurs (individuals only interested in the sport for other reasons, such as fashion).  It is important to note that past studies, and thus the frameworks established from these studies, have focused on club football and not on international events.

TYPES OF SUPPORT

Giulianotti classifies club-sport spectators into four ‘ideal’ categories: supporters (those who attend every live match loyally), followers (those who occasionally watch live matches), fans (those who watch every match on television), and flâneurs (who occasionally watch televised matches). He classifies supporters and followers as being ‘traditional’ spectators, while fans and flâneurs are consumers[6]. Crawford[7] points out that these classifications do not take into account the flexibility of spectators and their interaction with sports.

All locations used as fieldwork sites screened matches, thus informants can only be classified as ‘consumers.’ Accordingly, ‘fans’ are those who become engaged with the event to the extent that their support for a team becomes part of their everyday life – i.e. their support becomes a salient part of their identity – while flâneurs do not become engaged to such an extent; the attachment (if it is present at all) is fleeting.

In the World Cup context ‘fans,’ firstly, are individuals who support a particular national team loyally. Toby watched every single match played by all three of the teams he supported. He might have supported several teams; however, his loyalty to all three over long periods of time (he always supports these teams for World Cup tournaments) indicates that he is a fan. A second form of fan support that is evident in the World Cup involves the sport itself. Rose is not a fan based on her team support; however, she enjoys the sport and loves watching many matches, so she can be considered a fan.

It is important to note that these aspects do overlap. Many fans support a particular team for various reasons including the sport itself. These fans may support particular teams without limiting themselves to watching only those matches. The interest in the sport itself guides individuals to watch more matches than those of particular interest because they involve a team that is being supported.

Flâneurs are rather common during the World Cup tournament. Stephanie, for example, only watches the World Cup and she has no interest in the sport itself. Many informants watched the World Cup because it is an international event. Nevertheless, there is another form that flâneur-support can take. David was not interested enough in the World Cup to have a team that he actually wanted to support. Through Toby, however, he became involved involuntarily and for the one match in the tournament that he did watch, he became attached to a team even though he had not cared for the team or the sport minutes before the match started. Some flâneurs become involved for a very short time even if they do not necessarily want to be involved, and then lose interest again and move out of the football sphere completely.

One should note that this classificatory system is limited because it does not allow for the complexity of individuals. For example, we can consider Lilly who was a flâneur initially and who was only interested in watching the World Cup because it was being hosted in South Africa. She had little or no interest in football itself. Towards the end of the tournament, however, she had become a fan and wanted to continue watching football because she enjoyed the sport for its own sake. Eva is similarly in-between the two ideal categories. She knows much about football and watches a lot of it, but her interest is limited to the team of her choice; she has no interest in the tournament after her team has been eliminated. So the number of games she watches is guided by the competitiveness of the team she supports. During some events she will watch football until the final and other times she will only watch two matches, and of course if her team does not qualify, she will not watch the tournament at all.

Evidently, there is more variation to the World Cup football support situation than what the ideal categories allow. Support is not static. Thus, it is necessary to take Crawford’s[8] ‘fan career’ framework into consideration.

Crawford states that all spectators are consumers because of the consumer-based society that they live in and advances the theory of ‘fan careers’ which allows for a change in the form of support over time and accepts that all sport spectators are consumers. Crawford uses a career trajectory to explain the differences in commitment of different fans towards their clubs. This trajectory involves the following points at seven levels: general public (those who have knowledge of the sport/team without much interest in it), interestedengagedenthusiasticdevotedprofessional (individuals who know so much about the sport/team that they are considered to be experts), and apparatus (those who reach a level where the sport/team becomes a fixture in their daily lives). The trajectory is not linear as fans can, and do, change their attitudes very easily, or can be at a different stage of the trajectory with regard to different types of sports or teams[9].

Lilly’s football fan career through the World Cup follows this framework linearly. Initially, Lilly was a member of the general public, aware that the sport existed, but not interested in it. Through the advertising around the World Cup and South Africa hosting the event she became interested in the event itself and decided to participate. With the help of her friend who explained the rules to her, Lilly became engaged and later enthusiastic about the World Cup and decided to continue watching further matches, supporting a new team once her first choice had been eliminated. Finally, she became devoted to football and is convinced that she will continue watching different leagues after the end of the tournament.

Crawford looks simultaneously at how the interest in the particular sport is generated as well as in a club. In the case of the World Cup, however, this seems different; the event generally raises the interest in the sport, rather than in any particular team. The interest in teams is based on other reasons and a team can easily be replaced by a new one should interest in the original team falter.

I consider it necessary to make an additional distinction between ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘devoted’ fans for my purposes. In the World Cup context, it seems that an ‘enthusiastic’ fan is interested only in a particular team, like Eva. A ‘devoted’ fan, like Lilly, is interested in the larger context of the sport itself.

Rose is the only fan I know who has gone beyond her devotion (both at the club level and at the World Cup level). She truly is a professional. Rose watches football because she enjoys the sport and because she knows much about it. Her interest is also not restricted to a single league, let alone a single club. She knows world football and her knowledge and appreciation of the sport allows her to ‘watch as much football as [she] possibly can’[10] whether it is a league or World Cup match.

Because of the nature of the World Cup as an event which is limited in time, the category apparatus in the fan career trajectory does not seem to apply. It is possible, however, that individuals who are part of FIFA may qualify for this position in the framework.

The fan career framework further offers the advantage of allowing most people to go through a period of transition during the initial stages of their fan career. Often, it is not always obvious to the individual undergoing the transition that they are being taught. Claire had to think for some time before she admitted that she had been introduced to the sport during the previous World Cup in 2006 by Italian friends whose support for their team had infected her and raised her interest in the tournament and in the sport.

Furthermore, Crawford’s framework also allows for the support of several teams. Lilly supported Bafana Bafana because her primary interest in the World Cup was initiated by South Africa hosting the tournament (thus patriotic). Her second choice, Ghana, was a regional one, but their performance (they were the only African teams to make it past the group stages) also affected that choice. An additional factor in her choice was the team’s performance, which implies her knowledge of that performance. Finally, her third and final choice was Germany, a selection which was predominantly guided by her identification with the team through her German ancestry. Her choices imply her progression along the fan career trajectory and show that team choices are not necessarily based on a single reason.

An individual can have a career trajectory purely as a World Cup fan; Claire and Stephanie, for example, are only interested in watching World Cup football. However, the knowledge obtained in previous World Cups is often still applicable in the following one and therefore, individuals like these can be considered ‘enthusiastic’ or even ‘devoted’ as World Cup fans, but will still be flâneurs according to Giulianotti’s ideal categories.

LEVELS OF INTEREST IN FOOTBALL



Figure 1

The intensity of an individual’s support is governed by their interest (how intense it is as well as whether it is for a particular team or for the sport in general) and how strongly the sport impacts on their identity (whether it has a temporary or everyday impact).


Figure 1 illustrates that Rose has a high interest in football and it has a high impact on her life as she watches many matches. Claire only watches World Cup football, although she has a high interest in the sport; she is only temporarily affected by football. In comparison to Jake, Claire is more affected, even though both only have a temporary interest in the sport. Jake favours particular teams in the World Cup and therefore watches fewer matches. Finally, Steven has an exceptionally high interest in the particular team(s) that he supports, but does not let this support affect his everyday life to the extent that Rose does. He only watches the matches that involve his team(s).

The higher the impact and the interest, the greater the emotions (no matter in which direction the impact and the interest lie). Supporters for Ghana during the quarterfinal match against Uruguay (2 July) had a high interest in the match and it also had a high impact on their identities as supporters (evident in their extreme emotional reactions when Ghana lost on penalty shots). The emotional breakdown of Ghana supporters, irrespective of whether their support was a temporary or more permanent aspect of their identity, demonstrates that the individual’s involvement with a match/sport/club is extremely important when considering their identity as fans.

In patriotic forms of support for a ‘first’ team, the identification is particularly strong because the team is considered in terms of ‘our boy,’ an attachment far stronger than the attachment to a team that is supported because it is perceived as being a ‘good’ team. Identification with a team as being ‘our boys’ also affects the individuals’ engagement with the sport: high collective identification was evident in the support for Ghana against Uruguay and the intensity of engagement was much higher than in other matches. In addition, the intensity of engagement was carried over in later matches played by Uruguay where many informants commented on their disgust for the South American team’s performance against Ghana and their desire for Uruguay to be eliminated from the tournament.

A third criterion involved with the identification and engagement with a particular team is representation. To what extent does the individual feel that the team represents them?  Rose did not support her national team because she felt that the team as a whole was too arrogant for her to identify with. Steven planned to support Netherlands at the start of the tournament, but later denied this, stating that their style was too boring and that he preferred Spain’s style. It is likely that the Netherlands team did not represent what he expected from a football team.

It is useful to consider the fan and flâneur categories in the context of the individual’s negotiation with different aspects of football. These different aspects include the World Cup tournament, the teams or clubs that individuals support, and finally football as a sport. Individuals who are only interested in one of the aspects are flâneurs, while the individuals who are interested in two or more aspects are fans (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Of course, none of these distinctions are able to conceptualise fully the extreme complexity of the situation; the simplification serves to demonstrate trends amongst supporters.

THE CONSTRUCTION AND/OR CONSUMPTION OF FOOTBALL FAN IDENTITY

IDENTITY AND PERFORMATIVITY

Rubin[11] discusses the way in which football perpetuates gender stereotypes through the strong belief that the sport is a purely masculine domain. According to Rubin[12] ‘[f]ootball players and fans […] consistently valorise the idea of being a “real” man and as such women and all things feminine are derided and degraded within this environment.’ Football therefore acts as a platform where ‘masculine traits’ are performed and glorified. From this perspective, female fans cannot be taken seriously because the fact that they find the footballers attractive automatically excludes them from ‘real’ fandom, while a woman who ‘demonstrates a full knowledge and enjoyment of the game for its own sake […] is not a real woman.’[13]

Rubin’s perception indicates the importance of performativity theory[14] considering the ways in which gender roles are performed in accordance with social norms. This theory has since been elaborated to focus on identity.[15]  Social norms are contested/reiterated through discourse which is a process that is continued through performativity; thus it does not preclude agency. Additionally, space has productive power because of the context (historical, political as well as geographical) which surrounds it and thus, different spaces have different intensities and forms of power.[16]

The ‘real’ fan considered from the ‘real’ man perspective[17] ties in closely with the concept of performativity as this ‘realness’ needs to be enacted (through discourse or behaviour). Claudia finds it difficult to engage with her male friends as a football fan; she feels that her friends do not take her seriously and has to ‘work’ hard at being accepted as a fan. Whenever she watches a match, she openly displays her support. Rose, on the other hand, is accepted by her football fan friends. Rose does not find it necessary to display openly her support through clothing. This difference in experience and subsequent behavior is based on the social context in which each finds herself.

Claudia is a black Zambian who is married to a white, Dutch man who watches football with Karl and Heinz (white Germans) while Rose is a coloured woman who watches football with other coloured men (all of whom are South African). Alegi[18] mentions that in Africa women’s spectatorship of football has long been acceptable and thus the differences in the experiences of these women are based on the impressions that the men with whom they socialise have acceptability for a woman to be a football fan or not. Rubin’s perception, therefore, is too simplistic and culturally specific to generalise as she has done.

Additionally, Rubin claims that the attraction women have towards football players is considered one of the reasons why men cannot take their fandom seriously. Homosexual men, like Jake, have not been labelled as inauthentic fans just because they find the players attractive and talk about this perception openly. It is of course possible that in other social contexts this may differ.

According to informants, one of the most important aspects differentiating ‘real’ fans from the masses (flâneurs) is loyalty. Neill demonstrated this through uncomfortable silence and adamant refusal to support the USA when he had decided to support Ghana (26 June). He had changed tables with his friend Chad and, while the latter decided to engage with the young women who supported the USA and actively joined them in their support, Neill refused to change sides. Neill enacted his understanding of what a ‘real’ fan does.

Ntobeko, who has recently switched from supporting Orlando Pirates to AmaZulu, originally stated that his decision was based on the fact that ‘Pirates lose a lot.. He later mentioned, however, that ‘Orlando Pirates [fans] are associated with hooligans. Orlando Pirates – there is nothing positive you can say about Orlando Pirates fans. Kaizer Chiefs [fans] are associated with peace; the fans are known as the peace boys.’[19] He evidently felt that Orlando Pirates, and especially the team’s fans, did not represent what he wanted from football. This can be explained using Social Identity Theory which, according to Brown,[20] allows people to leave their group and seek another in the event of an ‘unsatisfactory’ identity. This particular example may be based on club support; however, it indicates how important the choice of a football team can be to the individual. During the World Cup, such dissatisfaction with a team was noticeable with Uruguay after that team eliminated Ghana from the tournament. Several informants admitted that they supported the opposing team as they wanted Uruguay to be eliminated from the tournament for what they had ‘done.’

In football fandom, embarrassment is also performed. Toby showed his embarrassment about his support for Italy (most notably when he walked out of their last match). Nevertheless, before he became embarrassed about his team, Toby made many excuses for their bad playing. This behavior is starkly contrasted by Elena who never once felt embarrassed about her team. She admitted that they were not very good, but did not feel uncomfortable about her support for them. This example potentially shows gendered differences in the perceptions of teams (of course, this generalisation needs to be studied further for confirmation).

Similarly, the collective depression that was evident following Ghana’s loss against Uruguay demonstrates the ways in which unhappiness is performed. It seems that unhappiness is performed to a greater extent than happiness because those people following winning teams would be happy, but would not make too great a show of it whereas the unhappy often made a big show of their emotions for a longer period of time.

The performative power of space is evident in the different ways that fans behave in different spatial contexts. The fans at the stadium perform their spectatorship differently from fans in other public locations (such as the Public Viewing Area – PVA – and the pub) and the differences are largely dictated by the seating arrangements of the stadium itself. In the Mikki Yili stadium PVA, there was no physical restriction on the spectators’ movements and therefore, they did move around much. In the pub, people were again restricted to the seating that was made available for viewers and therefore, did not move around much. In addition, the PVA is an open air site (like the stadium) and far more vuvuzelas were used in both of these locations than in any of the closed spaces (homes and pubs). Furthermore, fans made a greater effort to dress up going to the PVA than they did for pub screenings. In the private spaces, other activities continued while the football was practically ignored by some members of the households.

The differences in behavior in different settings also have a possible racial context. Black fans in the pubs were noticeably quieter in comparison to their white counterparts and only seemed to be in that space to watch a match, while at the PVA these very same people were exceptionally loud and participated in the singing and dancing. In contrast, the pub became a venue for white fans to have a social gathering.

Because performativity is so closely linked with roles, one needs to consider role transitions. Ashforth, Kreiner and Fugate[21] define such transitions as ‘boundary-crossing activities, where one exits and enters roles by surmounting role boundaries.’ Role identities are not bounded entities because different roles are flexible and permeable to a greater or lesser extent depending on the situation and the individual. Role transitions differ in levels of difficulty based on the flexibility and permeability of the roles in question, but are also affected by individual and contextual factors. In addition, Ashforth et al.[22] note that role transitions may increase or decrease in difficulty over time, depending on the individual and their situation.

Watching a World Cup match in a pub, for example, involves roles other than that of the fan: the paying customer, member of a particular group, etc. Therefore, role transitions take place in this as well as other spatial contexts. During the England vs USA match (12 June), Heinz claimed that he supported neither team, but by behavior he supported England. Under the circumstances, it seems that Heinz’s role as a football fan was not necessarily the only aspect of his identity that was salient at the time of the match. The flexibility or permeability of one or more of the active roles he was experiencing may not have been great enough to allow for him to support England openly in the social context at that time.

THE IMAGINED COMMUNITY AS OPPOSED TO COMMUNITAS

With regard to nationalism and nation building, Anderson[23] looks at the way in which the nation is a form of imagined community which explains the way in which people can consider themselves connected to people with who they have no face-to-face contact. Perceptions of the nation are also bounded (usually based on language[24]) as ‘no nation imagines itself coterminous with mankind.’[25]  Croucher[26] considers the impact of globalisation on nationhood and comes to the conclusion that nations and nationhood have not become obsolete (they are still used as forms of identifying or belonging), but neither have they remained unchanged by the process of globalisation. It is also possible, however, that ‘the cosmopolitan ideals of global civil society may work to discard old prejudices that were nation specific, but they may also [… contribute to] struggles over identity and a sense of belonging,’ as Marden[27] argues. The importance of the nation is particularly salient during World Cup matches where, as Rowe[28] observed, ‘the emblems of nation were everywhere to the fore, and few seemed to take the opportunity to adopt a position of neutrality in the role of global cultural citizen.’

Patriotism plays a great role in people’s team choices. The majority of fans chose their first team patriotically (76% of sample); they chose their own nationality, but if they could not (like Claire who is Zimbabwean), they often chose the closest team to home. Claire chose to support England because of her English ancestry and supported South Africa because she lives in this country as well as the fact that it is the only Southern African country that participated in the tournament. This example indicates how it is the perception of where one belongs that guides the decision behind which team to support during (or at least at the beginning of) the World Cup tournament. This example confirms Rowe’s[29] statement that ‘[t]he nation, present or absent, is […] still crucial to the experience of the World Cup.’

In an interesting twist, Turner’s[30] concept of communitas is also useful in understanding the unifying nature of the World Cup. Communitas encompasses a perception of the equality of humans based on their human-ness and is considered in opposition to social structure (ranking according to reified categories usually determined at or even before birth). During a World Cup tournament, the general public becomes unified in the knowledge of the event which is constantly re-iterated by matches being screened in almost all public locations. Even those individuals who do not have any interest in the sport will be exposed to it at some point or other during the course of the tournament.

Thus, football has the effect of both strengthening national ties as well as strengthening the perception of all humanity sharing the same experience. Based on this, we can further say that the Football World Cup encourages both inclusion at the level of communitas and exclusion at the level of nationalism.

CONSUMING THE FOOTBALL WORLD CUP

The argument that women are purely interested in footballers for their attractiveness[31] ties in with the soap-opera-like[32] presentation of world class football and players. Perceptions that Kaká (Brazil) is the perfect family man and that Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) is an arrogant, yet to some ‘sexy,’ man are influenced by their presentation in the media. Elena’s perception of the Italian team as consisting of ‘delicate boys’ is another example of how media representations of a team can become internalised in the way that people perceive such teams.

The perception of the athlete (in this case the football player) as a hero is important in this respect. Calhoun[33] lists a number of characteristics that have been associated with the athletes as heroes: they possess exceptional talent and often have flair or charisma. In addition, a sense of ‘awesomeness’ (‘the ability possessed by an individual or team [that is] more than merely mortal’[34]) is necessary. Based on this understanding the hero ‘need not die to be heroic, but a choice of values involving self-sacrifice helps.’[35] Finally, what Calhoun calls the ‘underdog factor’ (which involves a ‘David versus Goliath situation’) is also useful in elevating an athlete (or a team) to the hero pedestal. One aspect, which interestingly enough is ignored by Calhoun, is the ‘rags to riches’[36] story of many athletes and the majority of footballers (particularly African ones); the fact that athletes are ordinary human beings, who have ‘made it’, could be particularly resonant for many of the fans. However, one must bear in mind that not only heroes are created on the pitch; villains emerge as well.

Suárez’s (member of Urugay team) presentation as the villain was fuelled by the media which contradicted his own statement and called his handball foul (in the Ghana vs Uruguay match, 2 July) the ‘hand of the devil.’ In the case of Suárez’s foul, the deviance was further imposed on the rest of the team as many informants stated that they were behaving in a particular way ‘because of what Uruguay had done,’ rather than what Suárez had done. This collectivisation of the imposed guilt is likely  based in the nature of the sport as a team endeavour. Support for the Netherlands during their semi-final match against Uruguay was emotionally fuelled because many South Africans wanted Uruguay beaten as a result of the quarter final match against Ghana.

Vilification, however, can take on a different form.  Some people criticised the Ghanaian striker, Asamoah Gyan, for missing the penalty shot, rather than Luis Suárez who committed the foul. One informant called Gyan a ‘cunt,’ indicating the viewer’s consideration that the missed penalty was an indication of Gyan’s de-masculinisation and thus he used the ultimate insult in the hyper-masculinised[37] environment of football.

Interestingly, the majority of informants recalled violence and losses rather than positive aspects of the matches that they watched. Many cited the violence in the final match between Spain and Netherlands as well as the rest of the tournament, which confirms Calhoun’s[38] statement that the media and supporters collaborate in making the sport violent.  Violent acts are perpetuated through its discussion by spectators and in media forums while non-violence is forgotten.

The football World Cup does not only lend itself to the vilification of players. Some players do truly become heroes. It is certain that, in Uruguay, Suárez has become a hero for contributing to Uruguay coming fourth place (the closest that nation has come to winning the tournament in a very, very long time). The heroes are more commonly those who score particularly good goals – such as Özil and Müller on the German team, and Tshabalala from South Africa (who scored the opening goal of the tournament). It is noteworthy, though, that these heroes are often seen as such for a shorter period of time than the villains. The only case where the hero status has remained long after the actual heroes have retired is the case of the famous Brazilian team which has become mythologized.[39]

These subtle forms of fans’ consumption of media representations are paralleled with more overt forms of consumption: buying items to display support for a team is very important to many fans. But how is this consumption affected by the individual’s identity and how does the pre-established identity inform consumption? Lewis supported Argentina because he considered them a ‘good’ team (a decision largely informed by that team’s ranking in the FIFA listing and its representation in the media), but he failed to watch all the matches they played. Evidently, this did not conflict with his identity as a football fan.

A more important example is the case of a young woman who wore a Spain jersey during the Spain vs Uruguay match. Her behavior indicated that she was not actually interested in the match or even the team. So why does she own a Spain jersey? Perhaps it is because Spain was considered a ‘good’ team and was represented as very fashionable in the media at the time. This particular individual’s behavior indicates that she is not a football fan, but that her identity as a fashion-conscious individual was salient on the day of that match.

Lewis supported both Brazil and Argentina despite the fact that they are notorious football rivals; similarly, a Uruguayan supporter joined the Argentinean fans against Mexico despite the fact that these two teams are also rivals. How is it possible that fans can ignore such rivalries? Distance may play a very important role in this situation and therefore, the rivalries may become dimmed. Furthermore, Argentina and Brazil (and also Uruguay) are South American, so regionalism can be used to explain this. Supporters from Africa are also not socialised into the particular rivalries of these teams and therefore, with the help of the media representing these teams as all being really good, both Brazil and Argentina can be supported  simultaneously without any conflict of identity arising.

SUPPORTING MORE THAN ONE TEAM

The majority of South African informants in Grahamstown (73%) supported more than one team from the start of the tournament. This phenomenon is, however, not a purely South African thing. Toby (from the USA) and Lewis (from Zimbabwe) both supported three teams. The majority of foreigners from Europe and Latin America, however, supported only one team at the start of the tournament. To a certain extent, it seems possible to say that the competitive nature of the sport encourages fans to support another team if they consider their own national team not competitive. Supporters who only support one team from the start of the tournament often pick another team to follow after their original team has been eliminated. Thus, one can generalise that people from countries with notoriously weak teams (South Africa and USA) find it acceptable to support several teams from the beginning of the tournament.

Supporting more than one team seems to be a continental trait as well; football supporters from Africa do not seem to have any problem supporting more than one team. Lewis supports two clubs and Ntobeko and Sipho both considered it normal for South Africans to support more than one PSL club (their local one as well as one of the successful and famous ones). Interestingly, some foreign supporters showed this tendency too. Stefano usually only supports Italy, but for this tournament he decided to support South Africa and Brazil as well. This can be attributed to the fact that Italy was uncompetitive for the 2010 tournament. Because Stefano was in South Africa, rather than in Italy, that likely contributed to his decision to support more than one team. Wolf and Franz (both German) supported Germany, but for the first time also supported another team.  Here the explanation that the first (national) team was not competitive did not occur (Germany came third in the tournament). Evidently, foreigners living in African countries may find it acceptable to support more than one team for the World Cup tournament, rather than only their national team as they do at home.

This indicates that, in South Africa at least, the way in which football is consumed by the fans is different from the way in which it is consumed in other parts of the world. For many supporters in South Africa, it seems admissible to support the national team as well as a team that is expected to do well. Thus, South Africans demonstrate aspects of ‘fans’ as well as flâneurs. A conflict in identity, however, does not occur through these conceptually conflicting forms of support. This lack of identity conflict as a football supporter is likely because that different reasons are given for the support of different teams. The majority of supporters chose their primary team based on patriotism (76% of sample). Other informants chose teams based on regional ties (63%) and yet other supporters chose teams (primary and secondary) based on ancestry (16% of sample, but 33% of white informants).

The other form of choosing teams (usually secondary ones) is based on the perception of how good they are (reason given by 36% of sample). The perception of whether a team is good or not is enhanced by the media representation; in particular these perceptions can be attributed to what is said about the teams in the pre-match coverage (this was the case with Spain, Germany, Brazil and Argentina in 2010). Of course, these reasons for supporting teams do tend to overlap especially towards the end of the tournament.

It has becomes evident that the distinction Giulianotti has made between fans and flâneurs is particularly limited in the World Cup situation because people are both fans and flâneurs in different aspects of their fandom for the duration of the tournament.

CONCLUSION

In the context of the FIFA Football World Cup, fan identity is closely linked with the way in which the football is consumed.  Consumption practices inform and guide the form that the support takes and hence consumption is an important context in which to situate World Cup football fan identity. Furthermore, consumption and its impact on identity are clearly implicated in performativity and its influence in different spaces.

Within this broader context of consumption, we see that, in the South African situation, it is permissible for fans to support more than one team from the start of the tournament and it is apparent that these multiple teams are chosen based on different criteria. The majority of informants also continued to watch the tournament after their original team(s) had been eliminated and in the majority of cases, these informants chose to support at least one more team; thus, the importance of the team doing well increased as a decision-making factor as the tournament progressed.

Finally, the fan career trajectory established by Crawford is useful in considering the identification of particular fans with the teams of their choice as well as with the sport itself. However, because this particular paradigm looks specifically at club football, its usefulness is limited in this context. Similarly, the ideal categories established by Giulianotti have a limited applicability in the FIFA World Cup context. This limitation is predominantly based on the distinction made between fans and flâneurs which are mutually exclusive in Giulianotti’s paradigm. In the case of the FIFA Football World Cup, this mutual exclusiveness is not applicable. In South Africa, it is acceptable to support more than one team for the duration of the tournament (and most particularly from its start); therefore, World Cup football supporters can be both fans and flâneurs simultaneously without a conflict of identity arising.

NOTES

[1]Giulianotti, R. (2002) ‘Supporters, Followers, Fans, and Flaneurs: A Taxonomy of Spectator Identities in Football’, Journal of Sport and Social Issues: 26-45.

[2] Crawford, G. (2004) Consuming Sport: Fans, Sport and Culture. London: Routledge

[3] Butler, J. (1993) Bodies that matter: on the discursive limits of sex. New York, NY: Routledge.

[4] Chávez, K.R. (2010) “Spatializing Gender Performativity: Ecstasy and Possibilities for Livable Life in the Tragic Case of Victoria Arellano”. Women Studies in Communication, 33:1-15.

[5] Giulianotti, 26-45.

[6] Giulianotti, 33-40

[7] Crawford

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Extract from a follow up interview with the informant in August 2010.

[11] Rubin, M. (2009) “The Offside Rule: Women’s Bodies in Masculinised Spaces”. In Pillay, U., Tomlinson, R. and Bass, O. (eds) Development and Dreams: The Urban Legacy of the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup. Cape Town: HSRC Press, 266-280.

[12] Rubin, 269

[13] Rubin, 271

[14] Butler

[15] Chávez, 1

[16] Chávez, 4-6

[17] Rubin, 266-280.

[18] Alegi, P. (2010) African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World’s Game. London: Hurst & Co.

[19] Extract from a follow up interview with the informant in August 2010.

[20] Brown, R. (2000) “Social Identity Theory: Past Achievements, Current Problems and Future Challenges”. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30:747

[21] Ashforth, B.E., Kreiner, G.E. and Fugate, M. (2000) “All in a Day’s Work: Boundaries and Micro Role Transitions”. The Academy of Management Review, 25(3):472

[22] Ashforth, et al., 485

[23]Anderson, B. (1983) Imagined Communitites: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

[24] Anderson, 140

[25] Anderson, 16

[26] Croucher, S.L. (2004) Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in a Changing World. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.

[27] Marden, P. (1997) “Geographies of Dissent: Globalization, Identity and the Nation”. Political Geography, 16(1):60

[28] Rowe, D. (2007) “Sport and the Repudiation of the Global”. In James, P. (ed) Globalization and Culture, Vol 3: Global – Local Consumption. London: Sage:119

[29] Rowe, 118

[30] Turner, V.W. (2005) “Passages, Margins, and Poverty: Religious Symbols of Communitas”. In Vincent, J. (ed.) The Anthropology of Politics: A Reader in Ethnography, Theory, and Critique. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

[31] Rubin, 266-280.

[32] Blackshaw, T. and Crabbe, T. (2005) “Leeds on Trial: Soap Opera, Performativity and the Racialization of Sports-related Violence”. Patterns of Prejudice, 39(3):327-342.

[33] Calhoun, 329-332

[34] Calhoun, 331

[35] Calhoun, 330

[36] Campbell, J. (1949) The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[37] Rubin, 266-280.

[38] Calhoun, 329-332

[39] Giulianotti, R. and Robertson, R. (2007) “The Globalization of Football: A Study in the Glocalization of the ‘Serious Life’”. In James, P. (ed) Globalization and Culture, Vol 3: Global – Local Consumption. London: Sage. 91-109.

REFERENCES CITED
Alegi, P. (2010) African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World’s Game. London: Hurst & Co.

Anderson, B. (1983) Imagined Communitites: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

Ashforth, B.E., Kreiner, G.E. and Fugate, M. (2000) “All in a Day’s Work: Boundaries and Micro Role Transitions”. The Academy of Management Review, 25(3):472-491.

Blackshaw, T. and Crabbe, T. (2005) “Leeds on Trial: Soap Opera, Performativity and the Racialization of Sports-related Violence”. Patterns of Prejudice, 39(3):327-342.

Brown, R. (2000) “Social Identity Theory: Past Achievements, Current Problems and Future Challenges”. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30:745-778.

Butler, J. (1993) Bodies that matter: on the discursive limits of sex. New York, NY: Routledge.

Calhoun, D.W. (1987) Sport, Culture, and Personality (2nd edition). Champaing, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers

Campbell, J. (1949) The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Chávez, K.R. (2010) “Spatializing Gender Performativity: Ecstasy and Possibilities for Livable Life in the Tragic Case of Victoria Arellano”. Women Studies in Communication, 33:1-15.

Crawford, G. (2004) Consuming Sport: Fans, Sport and Culture. London: Routledge

Croucher, S.L. (2004) Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in a Changing World. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.

Giulianotti, R. and Robertson, R. (2007) “The Globalization of Football: A Study in the Glocalization of the ‘Serious Life’”. In James, P. (ed) Globalization and Culture, Vol 3: Global – Local Consumption. London: Sage. 91-109.

Giulianotti, R. (2002) ‘Supporters, Followers, Fans, and Flaneurs: A Taxonomy of Spectator Identities in Football’. Journal of Sport and Social Issues:26-45.

Marden, P. (1997) “Geographies of Dissent: Globalization, Identity and the Nation”. Political Geography, 16(1):37-64.

Rowe, D. (2007) “Sport and the Repudiation of the Global”. In James, P. (ed) Globalization and Culture, Vol 3: Global – Local Consumption. London: Sage. 111-123.

Rubin, M. (2009) “The Offside Rule: Women’s Bodies in Masculinised Spaces”. In Pillay, U., Tomlinson, R. and Bass, O. (eds) Development and Dreams: The Urban Legacy of the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup. Cape Town: HSRC Press, 266-280.

Turner, V.W. (2005) “Passages, Margins, and Poverty: Religious Symbols of Communitas”. In Vincent, J. (ed.) The Anthropology of Politics: A Reader in Ethnography, Theory, and Critique. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Migration of Nigerian Footballers “Oh Lord, you are the Lord who remembered John Obi Mikel, Christiano Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho – remember us as you remembered them”

Migration of Nigerian Footballers
“Oh Lord, you are the Lord who remembered John Obi Mikel, Christiano Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho – remember us as you remembered them”
Chuka Onwumechili
Howard University
COnwumechili@howard.edu

Abstract

While several scholars such as Darby (2000), Lanfranchi and Taylor (2001), and Bale (2004) have reported on migration of African footballers, Onwumechili (2010, 2002) has specifically identified migration of Nigerian footballers in three stages: (a) an earlier stage representing negligible migration of players for academic study, (b) second stage identifying a surge migration of players exclusively for academic advancement, and (3) a later stage identifying migration to further professional playing careers. Football player migration from Nigeria to foreign countries has been around from the 1950s; it shifted from a trickle to a surge at the turn into the 1970s and has increased ever since. Unfortunately, this conception of stages has not been empirically confirmed nor have effects of such migration been fully linked to increased global migration of international players from peripheral nations to global economic markets and subsequent effects on the national teams of peripheral nations. This paper tracks incidences of migration of Nigerian footballers for the first time, comparing decades of migration. In addition, it investigates the impact of those migratory periods on media coverage of the national team and stability of playing squads, among other important variables.

 

INTRODUCTION

Studies of footballer migration have been associated with increased globalization of the game (Darby, 2008 & 2000; Darby, Akindes, & Kirwin, 2007; Bale, 2004 & 1994; Lanfranchi & Taylor, 2001; and Arbena, 1994).  These studies have taken varying perspectives with some investigating the phenomenon from an economic perspective (Onwumechili, 2010; Lanfranchi and Taylor, 2001) and others from the process of de-skilling and exploitation (Bale, 2004; Darby, 2002; Kidd and Donnalley, 2000;  Henly, 1998; and Arbena, 1994). Many of these studies focus on migration of African football labor as would be expected because a significant aspect of modern migration of footballers has been from the poorer regions in South America and Africa to leagues in Europe and Asia.  Though Nigeria has been partly covered in those studies, few of them focus solely on Nigerian footballer migration. Onwumechili (2010) devoted a chapter on migration of Nigerian footballers identifying three stages of such migration, but provided few data, apart from anecdotes supporting the existence of stages.
Onwumechili categorizes migration stages in terms of chronological years. The first began in the 1940s and ended in the 1960s; the second occurred in the 1970s; and third stage began in the 1980s and continues today. His 2010 work argues that the first stage was the infant stage when very few footballers migrated; the second when most migrated for educational purposes; and the third when they migrated to play professional football. Unfortunately, there is no empirical data provided to support these stages. Therefore, this paper seks to confirm that claim by asking this question as it relates to migration of players from the national team:

RQ1: What differences mark decades of football player migration from Nigeria’s national team to foreign countries?

Furthermore, Onwumechili (2009) also suggested that television coverage “…of European leagues create a taste for European football among Nigerian fans. That taste creates the impetus for similar coverage of the European leagues in Nigerian newspapers and by Nigerian radio stations” (p. 453). In his study, he found that Nigerian newspapers, as well as television, dedicated a significant part of space and time to coverage of foreign football to the detriment of the local game.  Giulianotti (2004) made similar claims pointing to migration of top local players leading to fall of spectatorship in local stadia and affects media coverage in peripheral nations. This leads to our next research question:

RQ2: Is media coverage of the Nigerian national team affected by football player migration?

Lanfranchi and Taylor (2001) have proposed that increased migration of football labor has served to extinguish differences among national teams. They pointed to increasing similarity in styles of play. It is also likely, however, that there are more measurable effects of increased migration. For instance, naturalization of migrating players may also have improved some national teams (see also Lanfranchi and Taylor, 2001) and affected its player composition, among other possible effects. Thus, the following question in this study is:

RQ2: Are there effects on playing squads of the national team over the period? If so, what types of effects?

This paper explores the above questions by first reviewing literature on football labor migration, then reviewing literature as it currently pertains to Nigeria, explaining methods used for collecting data for this study, reporting, and then discussing findings for the study.

REVIEWING THE LITERATURE OF FOOTBALL LABOR MIGRATION

The literature on football labor migration is extensive, covering the topic globally and with some narrowed to coverage of African player migration. For our purposes, we review football migration history from a global perspective before focusing on the discussion of the African footballer migration from the two most widely reported perspectives – de-skilling and economic necessity.

Brief Historical Review

There are numerous literatures on football labor migration from a global perspective. Among these is the work of Lanfranchi and Taylor (2001), who make several key points about early migration in football. First is the role of English and Swiss footballers in spreading football across Europe. Second, migration was not only about footballers, but also migration of football administrators who came from bankers and engineers traveling to foreign countries and founding football clubs. These travels led to founding of clubs like Barcelona in Spain and Sporting Club de Nimes in France. Third is migration of South Americans of dual-citizenship to countries like Italy and Spain. Among these were great names such as Argentina’s Julio Libanotti and Raimundo Orsi. These were replicated by Portugal, who years later recruited top players such as Mario Coluna and Eusebio da Silva Ferreira from its African colonies to play for Portugal (Armstrong, 2004). Fourth, Lanfranchi and Taylor point to Ghanaian Arthur Wharton as the first Black to play in Britain where he featured for several clubs including Preston North End and Sheffield United from 1880s until the 1890s and then “an Egyptian arts student. . .” (p.29) being among several foreign players playing in Naples, Italy as early as 1910.
Recent literature points to a remarkable increase in numbers of migrant footballers playing in Europe. Filippo Ricci (2000 and 2001) reports on a staggering number of Africans playing in Europe in the 1999 and 2000 years. According to Ricci’s data, there were as many as 894 of these footballers in Europe in 1999. This was over 100% increase over the 350 figure mentioned by Lafranchi and Taylor in the mid-1990s. There are an increasing number of such footballers playing in lesser known leagues in Asia such as Vietnam, Thailand, and India.

De-skilling

The departure of players Mario Coluna, Eusebio (Mozambique to Portugal), Larbi Ben Barek (Morocco to France), Mohammed Maouche, Rachid Mekhloufi, and Mustapha Zitouni (Algeria to France) and subsequent unavailability of the best of African footballers in their home country’s league serve as the foundation for those who theorize about de-skilling of the African continent. In essence, this phenomenon is linked to economic imperialism where wealthy Western countries develop their economies by simultaneously impoverishing poor developing countries as demonstrated in trade imbalances, exploitation of raw materials from the developing world by paying low prices, and selling goods manufactured from those materials at exorbitant prices to countries from which raw materials were initially expropriated. In soccer, the equivalence is the selection and transfer of players, at little or no costs, from local leagues of Africa. These players are then sold across Europe at exorbitant prices whereas their local African clubs continue to exist with very little funds and the African public is deprived of watching their heroes at the local stadium.
The idea of de-skilling has not changed much from early to mid-20th century. Darby (2002: 170) argues that:

 “The de-skilling of domestic African football by elite European leagues has continued          unabated in the post-colonial era and indeed continues to follow a pattern which has its       roots in colonialism. For example, during the 1999-2000 season, of 118 Africans           currently playing their club football in Portugal, almost 69 percent hail from the former           Portuguese colonies of Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau.”

Similar colonial patterns are seen with Africans playing in France and coming from former French colonies in Africa, and in Belgium where a significant number of African players come from former colony of Democratic Republic of Congo. The situation led to a most cited quote from the President of the Confederation for African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou, in 1998 which is reproduced below:

            After the flight of brains, Africa is confronted with the muscle exodus. The rich countries     import the raw material – talent – and they often send to the continent their less valuable     technicians. The inequality of the exchange terms is indisputable. It creates a situation of          dependence – The elite of African football is out of the continent, hence the pauperization      of some clubs and whose evil effect is the net decrease of the game quality and of the               level of most of the national championships. Prestigious clubs are regularly deprived of      their best elements and even the juniors cannot escape the voracity of the recruiting    agents, who profit from the venality of their leaders. (CAF News, p. 37)

Bale (2004), from this perspective, adds that mass migration of African players has additional adverse effects. He suggested: “the first is the establishment of ‘farm clubs’ by European mega-clubs in Africa; the second is the exploitation of young African recruits in Europe; and the third alludes to the role of ‘agents’ in the exploitation of African sports talent domiciled in Europe” (p. 237). Bale presents evidence to support his case by citing the establishment of the Ajax farm club in South Africa to siphon talents to Ajax Amsterdam of Holland. Ajax Cape Town of South Africa does not intend to become a major club in the world of football as the likes of Ajax Amsterdam, but to serve solely as a talent farm for its European equivalent. In essence, Ajax Cape Town resigns to losing its top players to the European club and eternally situates itself as producer of “raw material” for furtherance of Ajax Amsterdam’s wealth and assisting in perpetuating European dominance. Bale’s second effect focuses on exploitation of African players, several of them teenagers recruited to Europe. In many of these cases, agents exploit these players, housing them in squalid conditions and some of the players return home in impoverished conditions.  Additionally, Bale (2004) and Szymanski and Kuypers (2000) have cited discriminatory acts against African footballers in Europe. Szymanski and Kuypers, for instance, describe instances where African players are underpaid compared to European counterparts who may be less talented. In some cases, African players would be quickly discarded even though similarly talented European players are kept on.  Discouraged by their failure and without funds to compensate for their efforts, players who do not make the grade refuse to return home ashamed and instead remain in Europe on menial jobs. In a sense, they fail to play in Europe and then, African leagues fail to benefit from their talent because of their local absence.

Economic Imperative

There are other scholars who have analyzed football labor migration from a purely economic perspective. In this case, footballer migration from South America and Africa is seen as a necessity because of economic situations in their home land. Darby (2008) provides a statement that captures the central idea behind this perspective:

            There is little in the way of infrastructure, professionalism or the possibility of a good          salary to encourage them (the players) to remain in their home nations and eschew the          potential of earning the almost unimaginable riches, by African standards, at least, that        the European game offers. . . it would be wholly unreasonable to expect these players to          sacrifice the opportunity of a potentially lucrative career in the professional game. . . (p.            61)

Lanfranchi and Taylor’s work (2001) clearly provides support for the centrality of economics in footballer migration. In fact, they argue that the first traces of labor migration in football, both footballers and club founders, were closely associated with movement of capital. For instance, they cite the fact that the most important countries in the early days of football development and migration were Belgium, Denmark, and Switzerland which also had the highest GNPs at the time. They also cite evidence demonstrating importance of economics in the early recruitment of Argentine players by Italian clubs in the early part of the 20th century. Financial improvement was motivation for those early migrations. For instance, gifted Argentine player Raimundo Orsi was
a former employee of an Argentinian railway company, Orsi was almost twenty-seven    years old at the time of his move (from Independiente to Juventus). . . . But Orsi’s status                   was to change quickly as he became wealthy, receiving a fabulous monthly salary of        8,000 lire (fifteen times the wage of a primary school teacher and eight times the average    earnings of a doctor or a lawyer) with bonuses such as a car (A FIAT 509 produced by    his employer) and an apartment. (Lanfranchi and Taylor, 2001, p. 76)

These migration economics are applicable to African footballers who migrate to Europe and Asia in search of better wages. Footballers are often poorly paid in Africa, whether the league is professional or not. In some countries such as Gambia, footballers have full time jobs beyond football and hold amateur status and may not receive football wages beyond game bonuses. In other countries, football exists within quasi-professional league systems. In such systems, footballers are employed solely to play football and professional transfer rules exist, but clubs in these countries are still impoverished; many are dependent on government handouts; and they do not own real properties. These clubs do report financial profits and they are rarely independently audited. Ncube (2009) and Nyende (2007) have reported poor wages paid by clubs in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Such clubs are widespread in sub-Saharan Africa. Ncube reported plans by the Zimbabwean Professional Soccer League (PSL) to institute a wage cap for clubs paying players between $100 and $150 monthly whereas the poverty wage line in the country was $454. This meant Zimbabwean footballers would earn poverty wages. Thus, it is not surprising when Ncube reported that several of the country’s footballers were leaving for places such as Cyprus and Turkey or other African countries such as South Africa in order to earn a better living. For footballers, it is worse in Kenya. Nyende (2007) reported that Kenyan Premier League players barely make $30 monthly.

There are few financially stable leagues in Africa and they are found in North Africa as well as in South Africa. These leagues pay better than most leagues in the continent, but their wages are still a far cry from wages that footballers receive in the top leagues of Europe. Thus, a three-tier financial compensation system is available to talented footballers. The poorest tier is the compensation system in most of sub-Saharan leagues. The mid-tier system is represented by leagues in North Africa, such as Egypt and South Africa where players may receive tens of thousands of USD per month. Nhando (2009) reported that “Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) are paying the likes of Sibusiso Zuma and Collins Mbesuma monthly wages in the region of R200,000 ($30,000).” The top tier is the major European leagues such as Italy, England, Spain, and Germany. The effect on migratory trends in Africa is apparent as players move either directly to the top tier or through the middle tiers to the top tier. There are several examples of players who have moved from the first, through the middle to the top tier such as Nigeria’s John Utaka (Nigeria to Egypt to France) and Julius Aghahowa (Nigeria to Tunisia/Ukraine to England).
Apart from the few financially stable leagues, there are pockets of clubs in the continent attracting and keeping good players because they are able to pay reasonable wages. These include Congo ‘s TP Mazembe that recently became the first African club to reach the final game of the FIFA World Club’s Cup in 2010. There are also Sudanese clubs – Al-Merreikh and Al Hilal. Montague (2010) wrote about Mazembe as follows: “The players’ salaries are rumored as high as $3,000 a week (i.e. $12,000 monthly) in a country where the average yearly wage is, according to Christian aid group World Vision, just $120. . . . TP Mazembe’s bonus pool for one match was bigger than the budget for the Zimbabwean champions for a whole season.”

FOOTBALL LABOR MIGRATION FROM NIGERIA

Few studies of football labor migration focus on Nigerian players, even though these players constitute the largest number of African players migrating to foreign lands. Bale (2004) wrote that “Nigeria . . .the major single national provider, supplying about 15 per cent of all African players to the European soccer market” (p. 235). Nigeria’s present position as Africa’s top exporter of footballers has not always been the case. Below, we review a history of migration of these players as recorded in the literature.
Lanfranchi and Taylor (2001) argue that a large number of early football migrants to Europe, including Ghana’s Arthur Wharton, only considered football playing in Europe as secondary to their education. Thus, the lure was often educational opportunities existing in Europe at the time. This was also true for the first football migrants from Nigeria to Europe (Onwumechili, 2010 and 2001; and Lanfranchi and Taylor, 2001). Lanfranchi and Taylor cited the cases of Teslimi Balogun, Francis Fayemi, and Elkanah Onyeali who arrived in the United Kingdom to study printing, carpentry, and engineering respectively. They cited Onyeali who informed the local United Kingdom press that “’study comes first’, and (he) was prepared to miss matches which clashed with his academic timetable” (p. 178). Though there were many examples of Nigerian footballers who travelled to the United Kingdom in the 1950s and 1960s for academic purposes, there was only a few that sought to play football only. Onwumechili (2010) cited at least two cases in the 1950s. In one case, he wrote that “Swindon Town FC in the English third division invited a dangerous Nigerian winger Titus Okere, 21 years at the time, in 1952 to join the team. British clubs noticed Okere’s talents during Nigeria’s storied 1949 tour of Britain. . . .Okere joined Swindon Town FC in 1953 but he never reproduced the form the English saw during the 1949 tour” (p. 72).  Though these footballer migrants played professionally, albeit at the lower division levels in the United Kingdom, their careers were usually brief. Nigerian footballers, at the time, were not especially sought by foreign clubs nor were they particularly well known. In fact, Nigeria was not a footballing power in Africa at the time. Other countries including Ghana, Egypt, Algeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Congo were stronger than Nigeria. Furthermore, European clubs, particularly those in France and Portugal, preferred to recruit players from former African colonies.
Onwumechili (2010) has argued that footballer migration from Nigeria could be categorized into three stages which he defined as 1940s to 1960s; 1970s; and then 1980s and after. The first stage is defined by most footballers who left the country seeking academic advancement. These footballers were amateurs who held fulltime jobs while playing in Nigeria. In most cases, they played for organizations that had football clubs for recreational purposes. Such organizations included the Lagos Town Council (LTC), Lagos Railways, Public Works Department (PWD), and the United African Company (UAC). Professionalism was not a major consideration for several of these footballers. They chose to travel overseas because there were few opportunities for academic advancement in the country at the time because of competitive university admission process. Education was important for social advancement and, thus, footballers left to pursue academics with hope they would return to leadership positions or better paying jobs. Indeed, this goal was achieved by several of these footballers after academic achievements.
The second stage, which took place between 1970s and early 1980s, is also identified by Onwumechili (2001 and 2010). This stage is similar to the first stage, but with a few significant differences. Migration during the second stage was extensive compared to the trickle that occurred during the first stage. Nonetheless, the footballer’s goal of academic advancement remained a priority. Second, the target for migration changed from the United Kingdom to the United States. American universities began to recruit Nigerian footballers, offering academic scholarships. This led to mass migrations as initial recruits identified other players who were subsequently recruited by the same schools. Onwumechili describes the phenomenon by citing one of the early recruits who acknowledged, “I helped bring in Chris Ogu, Prince Afejukwu, Samuel Owoh, and Sam Okpodu to Raleigh” (p. 76). This search for academic degrees, both from foreign and local universities, improved the social status of footballers after retirement. For instance, a former national team defender, Patrick Ekeji, rose to position of Nigeria’s Sports Director and former forward Adokiye Amaesiemaka became Attorney General of one of the states in the country.  Additionally, another former international Segun Odegbami served as Director of the National Institute of Sports (NIS) and yet a fourth, Taiwo Ogunjobi, became Secretary General of the Nigerian Football Association (NFA). Without advanced academic training, it is doubtful that any of them could have assumed those positions after their playing careers.
The third stage began in the 1980s with Nigerian footballers shifting from migration to America for academic advancement to migration to several foreign countries to advance their football careers. The driver for this shift was mainly economic. It was dramatically different, however, from the first or second stages which also have economic explanations. In the previous two stages, academic degree was seen as providing access to social climbing and, thus, economic security. The question then is why was this not the case at third stage? There are various reasons.  The most central is the country’s economic environment, as described by Onwumechili (2010) during the early part of the third stage migration. This was a period when the Nigerian economy was depressed following declining oil output and prices, declining exports, increasing imports, negative economic growth, substantial international payment deficits, and rising unemployment (“Nigeria draws regional. . .,” 2010 and “Nigeria: The Economy,” undated). Skilled labor migrated to foreign countries as their real incomes declined along with increasing unemployment among those with academic degrees. Footballers became aware that academic degrees no longer guaranteed improved social status and they could make more money playing professionally outside the country or working menial jobs in those countries.
Professionalism was also encouraged through various fronts. First, Otto Gloria, who had coached Portugal to a quarter final place in the 1966 World Cup, arrived in Nigeria in 1980 and enlarged the pool from which national team players could be selected. This was what he had done with Portugal where he recruited key players from Portuguese colonies, including the likes of Eusebio, to join professional clubs in Portugal. In Nigeria, he recruited foreign-based professional players with dual citizenships like John Chiedozie and Tunji Banjo to play for Nigeria. Then, he assisted Nigerian players including Benjamin Nzeakor and Richard Owubokiri in securing professional contracts in Brazil. Years later, the Dutch coach Clemens Westerhoff promoted the same practice by assisting several players to secure professional contracts in Belgium and Holland. Influential players, such as Stephen Keshi, led mass migration of players first to the Ivory Coast and then to Europe. The same applies to Christian Nwokocha who migrated during the second stage to secure an academic degree at Clemson University in the United States before moving to Portugal where he played for Sporting Lisbon. In the third stage migration, he now mentored younger players such as Sylvanus Okpala and Okey Isima to migrate to Portugal to play professionally. The subsequent performances of these migrants, both for their clubs and for their country, encouraged foreign scouts to focus attention on Nigeria and recruit additional players. Foer (2005) reports on this domino effect when he noted that; “Around the time of Edward’s (Anyamkpegh) arrival, Nigerians had become a Ukrainian fad. Within a few months, nine Nigerians were signed to play in Ukraine’s premier league. They were the most prestigious purchases a club could make. A roster devoid of Nigerians wasn’t considered a serious roster; an owner who didn’t buy Nigerians wasn’t an ambitious owner” (p. 142). The Ukrainian example was replicated in several countries particularly in places like Ivory Coast, Belgium, and Holland.
Some players who moved to foreign nations at this time, however, were neither assisted by coaches nor were they recruited by scouts. One of Nigeria’s most memorable players, Augustine “JJ” Okocha ended up playing professionally in Germany while on a visit and was subsequently encouraged by a friend to try out for a lower division club. In many cases, players ended up in Europe by defecting during team tours. This group of players was more concerned about escaping dire economic conditions in Nigeria. Onwumechili (2010) cites a 1992 case when “several players of the 3Sc “Shooting Stars” defected in Italy as the team transited from a 0-2 first leg CAF Cup loss to FC Bizerte of Tunisia” (p. 80).
Today, in spite of improvements in the Nigerian economy, footballers continue to leave in order to improve financial conditions. The astronomical wages paid to the likes of Nwankwo Kanu, Mikel Obi, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, and others in the top European leagues have become attractive. Onwumechili (2010) writes “Players are under the poverty level in Nigeria with few earning more than $250 per month. The British tabloids The News of the World recently quoted Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s monthly salary while he was at Julius Berger in Lagos as $100. More painful is that player wages are often unpaid or arbitrarily reduced by teams claiming that such reductions motivate better player performance” (p.80). Aiyegbeni’s current wages in England is in tens of thousands per week! It is not surprising then that young Nigerian footballers hope to one day become the next Nigerian football hero earning astronomical wages at a European club. Lovgren (2009) cited the following prayer he heard from young Nigerian footballers in Lagos; “Oh Lord, you are the Lord who remembered John Obi  Mikel, Christiano Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho – remember us as you remembered them. . .connect us to people who matter. Let them come and see us play so that they can take us to Europe.”

DATA COLLECTION METHOD

Previous studies on football labor migration rely on two primary research methods. The first is use of qualitative research methods such as critical analysis from dependency theory or postcolonial framework (see Bale, 2002). Others in this tradition also use a historical analysis (see aspects of Lanfranchi and Taylor, 2001). Studies using quantitative research method often use secondary analysis of existing data (also utilized by Lanfranchi and Taylor, 2001).
Secondary analysis of existing data has been widely used for analysis of football labor migration. This method utilizes easily accessible data from existing documents including data published in newspapers, available through databases of football administration offices, and other sources. This method has various advantages including easy access to data that may be difficult to obtain through primary data collection means, providing ability to link data that had not been previously associated, and reducing the cost of research.

We used a secondary analysis of existing data for this exploratory study for some of the reasons mentioned above. Primarily, it would have been difficult, inefficient, and time consuming to obtain primary data of football labor migration from Nigeria. Documents  from which such information could be easily generated were already in existence and provided us with access to data going back half a century; this afforded the  opportunity for trend analysis and/or easily identifying changes in migration patterns. It would have been difficult to access such data utilizing any other research method.
Our research procedure consisted of first analyzing the Nigerian national team line ups for games played since the team’s first international match in 1949 until now. These line ups are available through various published books including Onwumechili (2010), Solaja (2010), and Oke (2000). We use these published lineups to select additional data as follows: (1) identify players  reported by the Nigerian media to have emigrated, (2) identify media reported reasons for player’s emigration, and (3) identify players reported playing for foreign clubs when they received invitations to play for the Nigerian national team. Media reports on player migration and player data from Filippo Ricci’s African Football Yearbooks are then used in association with lineups of the national team in order to address the research questions for this study. These yearbooks list all African players, including Nigerians, playing for European clubs in each season.
Quantitative data generated from secondary analysis were then used to determine distribution of cases on measured variables such as decade of migration, and migration intent, among others. We also use tables and graphs to illustrate trends of football labor migration from Nigeria.
Because we are not able to locate existing data to address our second research question on media coverage of the Nigerian national team, we used a qualitative content analysis to investigate RQ2. We relied on Patton (2002) and Berg (2001) in designing qualitative procedure for content analysis in this study. Our primary aim is to interpret how the national team has been reported in major newspapers in terms of breadth and depth of reports. By breadth, we mean whether reports preceded a major game and how detailed (depth) in terms of variety of report topics presented on the team. Using entire texts as our unit of analysis, we focused attention on reports on the national team in the following national newspapers – Daily Times, The West African Pilot, The GuardianNational Concord, and ThisDay newspapers – during tournaments across decades. These tournaments include the All Africa Games, African Nations Cup, Olympics Men Football, and the World Cup finals. We would have preferred to analyze contents of the top two newspapers over the entire period but this was not possible as top national newspapers during the first tournament in 1963 (The Daily Times and The West African Pilot) were no longer in existence or have been overtaken by other newspapers by the 1980s. Therefore, we replaced both The Daily Times and The West African Pilot with The Guardian and National Concord from the 1980 tournament. Then National Concord was replaced by ThisDay after the 1992 tournaments for similar reasons.
Clearly, the focus of the study is on migratory activities involving the national team of Nigeria. We have not focused data collection on players migrating from youth national teams, clubs, academies, or other types of football teams. Our focus on collecting data from national team activity is guided by ease of access to such data.

FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS FROM MIGRATION STUDY

Though football labor migration from Nigeria had not benefitted from quantitative research, results from descriptive studies are largely confirmed by this study. It is important to caution, however, that this study is limited to the national team and does not include all Nigerian footballer migration from other sources including clubs and academies, which is substantial.
Figure 1 provides findings addressing the first research question. It shows that migration of players from the national team was minor early (1949-59). The reasons for migration during this period was mixed; i.e., either for academic study or for professional football career. This is somewhat different from what we find in the first stage migration reported in current literature (see Onwumechili, 2010 and Lanfranchi & Taylor, 2001). The current literature noted that this early stage migration was by footballers who sought academic advancement and not professional football careers. The difference in finding could be explained by the sample used for this study. The present study was restricted to footballers who played for the national team whereas current literature on the subject focuses on a larger group of footballers including those who had not played for the national team. Thus, it is conceivable that this study’s narrow focus on the national team accounts for the difference.

Figure 1: Player Migration Reason

We also note that this study’s findings, even though it focuses on national team players, confirm the existence of a three stage migration process, earlier identified by Onwumechili (2010).  Apart from early or first stage migration discussed in the previous paragraph, Figure 1 shows the existence of a second stage (covering 1960-69, 1970-79, and part of 1980-89 decades) and then a third stage (part of 1980-89, 1990-99, and 2000-10). These later two stages are remarkably different from each other. The second stage clearly identifies academic study as reason for migration of national team footballers. In fact, we find no national team footballer that migrated for any other reason during the 1960-69 and 1970-79 decades. The third stage shows that migration reason changed to professional football. There is a slight difference between findings of this study and the migratory stages one described in Onwumechili (2010). Onwumechili (2010) argued that the third stage began from 1980, but findings from this study points to a later beginning date, somewhere in the 1980s but certainly not the year 1980. Unfortunately, because data collection periods are categorized in decades, and not years, the finding failed to identify a specific year when the third stage may have commenced. Thus, what we find is that the decade 1980-89 indicates a transition period.
Findings related to the second research question were somewhat surprising. With several Nigerian footballers migrating to foreign leagues, one expected a lack of media interest in coverage of Nigerian football. Onwumechili (2009) had found this lack of interest in media reports of Nigerian football using a frame analysis of print and broadcast media reports. This study failed to find this lack of interest in reporting the national team. Instead, our findings show that reports on the national team may well be more in depth than in earlier years. In fact, reports on the national team in both The West African Pilot and The Daily Times were sparse and negligible for the first All Africa Games in Senegal in 1963. Reports did not include pregame analysis and were reduced to a couple of sentences reporting results of the team’s games in Senegal. The reports improved later in the year when the team played in its first African Nations Cup final. We believe that the difference may be due to the newspapers infrequent sending of reporters to events outside the country in those days. Coverage of Nigerian national team in today’s newspapers has increased in depth and breath. Coverage include reports on when foreign clubs will permit Nigerian players to leave their clubs to join the Nigerian team, the arrival of players in camp, performances at training, numerous player interviews about the game, and then the game itself. This is much more depth than in the earlier years when the focus was analysis of the game in the match day newspaper and then a detailed report of the game’s result. A key question then is why is this finding different from that of Onwumechili in 2009? A plausible explanation is that the 2009 study focused on the local league in Nigeria while this study focuses on the national team. This is a significant point of difference because as Onwumechili (2009) argued, media coverage of European soccer familiarizes Nigerian media and fans with players in those leagues and creates media and fan interest in games involving such players. The national team, unlike local league clubs, is made up of players already familiar to the Nigerian media because of media focus on European leagues. Thus, reporting those same players when they meet as the Nigerian national team is an extension of media reports on familiar actors.
Other findings respond to the third research question investigating effects of migration on the national team. Effects include changes in pools from which players are invited to join national team squads, composition of the team at key tournaments, and length of preparation by the team. The first two effects are demonstrated in Figures 2 and 3 below. Figure 2 reports on when a player was first invited to join the national team; i.e., whether they were then playing locally or playing in a foreign league. What does this tell us? It tells us where the pool of invitees to the national team is located; i.e., are those players based locally or in foreign countries?  The expectation is that increased migration of top Nigerian players to foreign leagues would lead to the national team increasingly relying on players from foreign clubs. The result reflects this. The number of players invited to the Nigerian national team before migrating to a foreign league is the same identified in Figure 1 as migrating with intention to continue their football career. Interesting data in Figure 2 are the increasing number of players who receive their first call up to the national team after they had begun a professional football career in a foreign league. The number was the highest in the last decade (2000-2010) when over 60 players received such an invitation compared to less than 10 players in each of the previous two decades. This is a major effect as Nigeria had not called up a player from a foreign league until Coach Otto Gloria invited John Chiedozie and Tunji Banjo in the early 1980s (see Onwumechili, 2001). The data in Figure 2 demonstrates the trend towards this type of call up while the number of locally-based players invited to the team is on a decline.

Figure 2: Identifying when Player received first Invitation to National Team

NOTE: Pre-pro refers to a player who played for the national team before migrating to play professional soccer. Post-pro refers to player already playing for a foreign club before debuting for Nigeria.
Figure 3 focuses on tournament squads for the national team and player composition for those teams across decades. Note that there were no tournaments played by the team during the first stage migration (1949-1959). The first tournament played by Nigeria was in 1963 at the All Africa Games in Dakar, Senegal. In addition to the All Africa Games, other tournaments used for this data collection were the biennial African Nations Cup finals, Olympic Men Football, and the World Cup finals.   It is important to note that in several cases, players are counted multiple times if they played in more than a single tournament. Additionally, number of players at a particular tournament used for this data analysis was a function of lists available from existing documents. In any case, the line graph (Figure 3) demonstrates an interesting but expected trend. The national team’s use of players who migrated to advance their education was relatively non-existent at the height of such migrational intention in the 1970s. During the 1970s, we found few occasions when such players were recalled to play for the national team at tournaments; this occurred at the 1978 All Africa Games where students – Thompson Usiyan and Bennet Popoola — were recalled to play for the team. Two years later, Godwin Odiye was recalled to play at the 1980 Nations Cup finals in Nigeria. Also interesting is the decline in the use of locally-based players from a high in the 1980-89 decade and the sharp increase in the use of foreign-based players since that decade. We can also infer another effect not directly found in this study. The increasing invitation to the national team of players at foreign clubs (See Figure 3) means that the national team must depend on those clubs to first permit players to join the national team after issuance of invitations.  Though FIFA’s ruling in 1981 makes this permit relatively automatic in qualifying games and tournaments, there are consequences particularly in how many days players can be available to the national team. This means that the Nigerian team which could stay in preparation camps for months pre-1981 is now restricted to preparation camps ranging from three days for qualifiers and two weeks for tournaments.

Figure 3: Composition of Tournament Teams

NOTE: Players are counted multiple times dependent on number of times they participated in tournaments within identified decades.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, this study confirms that there are three stages of Nigerian player migration from Nigeria’s national team. The earlier period was mixed with players either migrating for academic advancement or for furthering professional football careers with the number of such players negligible. The second stage, beginning in the 1960s and ending in mid-1980s, records a mass migration of players from the national team and migration intent was exclusively for academic advancement reasons. The third stage, from mid-1980s till present, also involves mass migration from the national team, but exclusively for professional football careers. Furthermore, the study shows that mass migration of players from the national team has increased media coverage of the team over the decades. Other effect include increased first-time invitation to the national team of players playing in foreign leagues and confirms increased composition of tournament squads with players who have migrated to foreign leagues.

 REFERENCES

Arbena, Joseph. (1994). Dimensions of international talent migration in Latin American sports. In Bale, J., and Maguire, J. (Eds.), The global sports arena: Athletic talent migration in an interdependent world   (pp. 99-111), Portland, OR: Frank Cass.>

Armstrong, Gary. (2004). The migration of the Black Panther: An interview with Eusebio of Mozambique and Portugal. In Armstrong, G., and Giulianotti, R. (Eds.), Football in Africa: Conflict, conciliation and community (pp. 247-268). NY: Palgarve MacMillan.

Bale, J. (2004). Three geographies of African footballer migration: Patterns, problems, and
postcoloniality. In Armstrong, G., and Giulianotti, R. (Eds.), Football in Africa: Conflict,
conciliation and community (pp. 229-246). NY: Palgarve MacMillan.

Bale, J. (1994). Sports labour migration in the global arena. In Bale, J., and Maguire, J. (Eds.), The global sports arena: Athletic talent migration in an interdependent world (1-21), Portland, OR: Frank Cass.

Berg, B. (2001). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Confederation for African Football (CAF). (1998, April). The importance of football for the African countries. CAF News, No. 64, p. 37.

Darby, Paul. (2008). African football labor migration to Portugal: Colonial and neo-colonial resource. In Tiesler, N., and Coelho, J. (Eds.), Globalised football: Nations and migration, the city and the dream (pp. 56-70). NY: Routledge.

Darby, Paul. (2002). Africa football and FIFA: Politics, colonialism, and resistance. Portland, OR: FrankCass.

Darby, Paul. (2000). The new scramble for Africa: African football labour migration to Europe. European Sports History Review, 3, 217-244.

Darby, Paul; Akindes, G.; and Kirwin, M. (2007). Football academies and the migration of African football labour to Europe. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 31 (2), 143-161.

Foer, Franklin. (2005). How soccer explains the world. NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Giulianotti, Richard. (2004). Football: A sociology of the global game. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Henly, J. (1998, December 4). Scandal of Belgium’s football slave trade. Daily Mail and Guardian.

Kidd, B., and Donnalley, P. (2000). Human rights in sports. International Review for the Sociology of       Sport, 35 (2), 131-148.

Lanfranchi, P., and Taylor, M. (2001). Moving with the ball: The migration of professional footballers. NY: Berg.

Lovgren, Stefan. (2009, December 2). Africa’s mad about soccer, but Europe’s the goal. (Retrieved December 30, 2010). http://www.nbcsports.msnbc.com.

Montague, James. (2010, December 21). War, diamonds and football: The amazing story of Congo’s TP Mazembe. (Retrieved December 29, 2010). http://www.cnn.com.

Ncube, Barbara. (2009, April 7). Soccer players paid slave wages. (Retrieved December 29, 2010). http://www.Voicesofafrica.africanews.com.

Nhando, Lennox. (2009, April 7). There’s big money to be made from foreign players. Ask Jomo Sono? (Retrieved December 29, 2010). http//www.soccerwires.com.

Nigeria draws regional migrants but loses high skilled labour, migration profile finds. (2010). (Retrieved December 30, 2010). http://www.Iom.int.

Nigeria: The economy. (undated). (Retrieved December 30, 2010). http:// www. mongabay.com
Nyende, Charles. (2007, January 16). Poor wages affecting soccer. Daily Nation (Retrieved December 29,             2010). http://www.dailynation.co.ke.

Oke, Adedayo. (2000). From UK Tourists to Super Eagles: The history of Nigeria’s national football team.             London, UK: Okestra Publications.

Onwumechili, C. (2010). Chukastats 1: History, records, and statistics of Nigerian Football. MD: Mechili Publishing.

Onwumechili, C. (2009). Nigeria, football, and the return of Lord Lugard. International Journal of Sport Communication, 2 (4), 451-465.

Onwumechili, C. (2001). The making of Nigeria’s Super Eagles. Rome, Italy: Filippo Ricci Editore.

Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Ricci, F. (2001). African football yearbook 2001.Rome: Prosports.

Ricci, F. (2000). African football yearbook 2000.Rome: Prosports.

Solaja, Kunle. (2010). Super Eagles: Through the ages. Nigeria: Extra Time Communications Ltd.

Szymanski, S., and Kuypers, T. (2000). Winners and losers: The business strategy of football. London, UK: Penguin.

Nigeria also performed admirably in world youth tournaments further attracting player recruitment interest from European clubs.

The Nigerian national team represented the country at the Olympics up to 1988 after which FIFA barred full national teams from participating at the Olympics. This is similar to the All Africa Games where senior players have been barred during the same period.

Zambia Sporting Score: A Period of Hits and Misses by Moses Sayela Walubita

Book Review

Zambia Sporting Score: A Period of Hits and Misses
by Moses Sayela Walubita
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse 2011

Robert G. Rodriguez
Assistant Professor
Political Science
Texas A&M University – Commerce

In February 2012, Zambia made sports headlines around the world by winning the African Cup of Nations. The squad was a sentimental winner because they dedicated the soccer trophy to the Zambian national soccer team that was tragically lost in a 1993 airplane crash. Then, in December 2012, the former Zambian goal-scoring machine, Godfrey Chitalu, also the fallen coach of the 1993 national team, surprisingly reemerged in international sporting news. As Lionel Messi surpassed Gerd Müller’s 1972 record of goals scored in a calendar year, the Madrid-based sport’s daily As reported that the record does not belong to Messi, nor Müller, but rather to Chitalu, a Kabwe Warriors star in the Zambian league who scored 107 goals in 1972 [1]. A black-and-white photo of Chitalu posing with a soccer ball inscribed with the words “1972 Godfrey Chitalu 107 Goals” found its way into Internet sites, newspapers, and magazines across the globe [2].

Zambia’s resurgence, or perhaps emergence, in the world of sports prompted IMPUMELELO to review a recently published book on Zambian sports history. Moses Sayela Walubita, a former reporter at the Zambia Daily Mail and Zambia’s press secretary at the UN (at the time of the book’s publication), took on the gargantuan task of compiling the trajectory of Zambian sports in Zambia Sporting Score: A Period of Hits and Misses. Chitalu’s image appears on the front cover along with five other prominent Zambian athletes, though he is not mentioned in the same breath as the athletes highlighted on the back cover.

The reader will immediately note that this publication is the second edition of a text published in Zambia in 1990. Thus, one would reasonably expect that the book would have been updated to reflect the sporting accomplishments of the country during the two decades since its initial publication. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Aside from the book cover, a brief “Acknowledgement to Second Edition” section, and several photographs and captions, the text remains untouched from 1990. Therein lays the book’s greatest flaw. There is scant discussion of the 1993 national soccer team and the accident that claimed their lives. While two photographs of 400 meter hurdler Samuel Matete appear in the book, the Olympic silver medal he won in 1996 (one of Zambia’s two Olympic medals to date) is not mentioned. And although three images of Zambia’s acclaimed boxer Esther Phiri, who holds four women’s world championship belts, are included in the pages of Walubita’s book, there is no discussion of her background at all. It follows that updates on the great Zambian athletes of yesteryear are also missing from this book. The case of boxing contender, Lottie Mwale, is a glaring example. Despite the fact that Mwale handed Tony Sibson, one of Britain’s best boxers of the 1970’s and 1980’s, his first professional loss, and also defeated future three-time world light heavyweight champion Marvin Johnson, Lottie’s post-1980s activities do not appear in the text. Mwale would go on to win the World Boxing Council’s International title in 1990, lost to future hall-of-fame world champion Virgil Hill, and sadly wound up dying at the age of 53 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for several years.[3]

Despite the fact that the second edition of the Walubita’s book is only very briefly updated from the original 1990 Zambian-published text, and several glaring typographical errors appear throughout, it still contains valuable information about Zambia’s sporting past. For those who may be unacquainted with Zambian political history, it bears mentioning that the country was a protectorate of the United Kingdom and known as Northern Rhodesia until it gained independence on October 24, 1964. The inaugural president of newly-independent Zambia was Kenneth Kaunda, who espoused a form of African Socialism. Kaunda would rule the land through the guise of a one-party state – his United National Independent Party – until economic strife, international pressure, and domestic unrest led him to allow multi-party elections in 1991, in which he was ousted from office and relinquished power to his successor. Readers will quickly note references to “The Party,” and “comrades” in the text.

The structure of the book is based upon various sports practiced by Zambians. Chapters on expected sports such as soccer, athletics, and boxing predominate in terms of their detail and quality. Just as interesting, however, are short chapters on Zambian participation in lesser-renowned sports, such as bowls and various types of motor sports. Each chapter follows a similar pattern, typically describing the basic rules and structure of the sport denoted by the chapter title, then explaining when and how the sport was introduced to the country (usually in pre-independence by British ex-pats and members of the Indian Army), and finally describing the accomplishments of several noteworthy Zambian practitioners of each sport through the mid-1980s. Zambian athletes who have practiced their respective sports abroad are given particular attention. Some chapters include records of participants and match results, while others also include detailed information on the coaches and administrators of each sport. Most chapters also lament the lack of substantial Zambian accomplishments in the fifteen sports that are covered.

While most of the chapters are superficial regurgitations of sporting events and their results, there are several gems of information that appear throughout. For example, when recounting the 1974 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Zambia and Zaire, Walubita describes how runner-up Zambia was “given a standing ovation by the sympathetic crowd which included FIFA President Sir Stanley Rous and former World heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali” [4]. Another interesting and perhaps little known tidbit is a comment about President Kaunda, who “agreed to a proposal for the construction of a nine-hole golf course within the grounds of the State House, in order to provide him with a means of relaxation from his onerous and continual responsibilities as Head of State” [5].

Soccer has clearly held a preeminent position among all sports in Zambian society. President Kaunda, recognizing the importance of the sport among the population, sought to capitalize upon it for political gain, with actions that ranged from personally receiving the squad, to making the national team coach a full colonel in the Zambian military [6]. The author’s treatment of Chitalu’s goal scoring record in 1972 now has heightened importance given the former player’s recently re-gained notoriety.  The record is presented as being an important accomplishment that was “surpassed only by Pele’s record 121 netted in 1961.” [7] Walubita’s reference to Pele’s “record” is intriguing, as newspapers around the world reported in November 2012 that Pele’s record for goals scored in a calendar year was 75, set in 1958, and was surpassed by Lionel Messi [8]. More significantly, we learn from Walubita’s writings that despite Chitalu’s goal-scoring prowess, he was never really a regular on the national team [9].

Zambia’s boycott of the 1976 Olympic Games is an issue that appears in several instances within the text. The author writes that, even though Zambian athletes qualified for the Montreal Olympics, the games were “marred by the Afro-Arab led political boycott in protest against the presence in Montreal of New Zealand which was the ally of South Africa” [10].  To clarify, the United Nations had called for a sporting embargo of South Africa because of their apartheid policies. New Zealand allowed its national rugby team, the world-renowned All Blacks, to tour South Africa in defiance of the embargo and a threat of an African Olympic boycott. In response, many nations called for New Zealand to be banned from the 1976 Olympic Games, but the International Olympic Committee refused to do so, resulting in the boycott of twenty-five African countries including Zambia.

Issues of racism and discrimination also appear throughout the text. For example, when discussing Zambian participation in cricket, Walubita explains that the sport in Zambia at the beginning of the 20th century was, “the chief recreation for the colonialists…the gradual evolution into very competitive leagues at the height of white supremacy in the then Northern Rhodesia from the fifties onward”[11].  A second example is that of the fate of distance runner Yotham Muleya. In 1958, Muleya gained international notoriety by defeating well-known British distance runner Gordon Pirie in an official competition while running barefoot. Muleya’s victory was reported in the popular American magazine Sports Illustrated as making “a nice crack in Rhodesia’s grim racial barrier” [12].  Muleya went on to study in the United States as a result of this notable victory, but died in a tragic car accident in 1959. At the time, Jet Magazine, an American publication designed to serve the interests of African-Americans, reported Muleya’s untimely death with a photo and a report that stated Muleya died en route to a cross-country meet along with two Americans and a white Southern Rhodesian athlete [13].  There was no indication of foul play in the article. In Zambian Sporting Score, however, Walubita recalled Muleya’s tragic death –without any supporting evidence- as follows: “Then the hero [Muleya] went abroad and what followed was bad news. Yotham Muleya had died in a car accident, far away in the whiteman’s land. The same Yotham who had out-sprinted another whiteman exactly a year before. He must have been killed by the whiteman” [14].

The unsubstantiated claim surrounding Muleya’s death is one of several potentially exaggerated assertions that appear in the text. Two additional examples stem from Walubita’s chapter on boxing. The author characterized Zambian boxer Lottie Mwale as having an “even chance” of winning Zambia’s first Olympic medal [15].  As the author points out, however, Mwale was drawn against Michael Spinks, the American boxer who would not only win the gold medal, but would also win world championships in the light heavyweight and heavyweight division as a professional. Thus, Mwale’s odds of getting past the first round of competition (much less earning a medal) were long at best, and the Zambian boycott of the 1976 Olympics ultimately rendered this a moot point. A second claim the author makes in this chapter refers to 1984 Olympic bronze medalist Keith “Spinks” Mwila (Zambia’s first Olympic medalist) as having been robbed of making it to the gold medal match. “If the judges had been fair, Mwila would have won the gold” [16].  This is also a tenuous claim, as Mwila had lost a 5-0 decision to an Italian boxer in the semi-finals. Additionally, the gold medalist in the light flyweight division at that Olympiad was Paul Gonzales, a Mexican-American boxer who would be awarded the Val Barker trophy, presented to the best all-around boxer at each Olympics.

Perhaps the greatest contribution of the book is bringing back to life the accomplishments of many of the sporting heroes of Zambia’s past and interweaving the history of athletic competition in the land with the political situation of the time. It should be noted that Zambia was the first country to enter the Olympic Games under one flag (the Union Jack) during the opening ceremony and leaving the games under a different flag (the Zambian flag) in the closing ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games, as Zambia became a sovereign state on the 24th of October, the very day the competition ended that year [17].

Among the “forgotten” athletes who are resurrected in the book are Shirley Fisher and Rosalie Van Leeve, two female motor sports participants who were the first “Zambian all-woman crew ever to finish a National Rally” [18].  Readers might also be surprised to learn that motor sports were considered a Zambian “national pastime” in the 1940’s [19].  Another intriguing figure of the Zambian sports world is popular wrestler Fred Coates, actually a white South African who wore leopard skin shorts in the ring and who popularized and promoted international wrestling events in the Zambia’s Copperbelt region [20].  Wrestling in Zambia was so popular that it was even profiled in a 1966 edition of the American magazine Boxing Illustrated [21].  Additionally, David Phiri, a black Zambian international golfer who had to overcome many racist incidents, as relayed in the text, would go on to design the golf course at President Kaunda’s State House and eventually became the Bank of Zambia Governor and chairman of the Zambian Football Association [22].

Finally, while the book itself does not have an overall conclusion, it is clear that the author wants to emphasize the challenges facing Zambian athletes. Several chapters lament the country’s dire economic situation, which has permeated throughout its history. The embarrassment of having to withdraw as host of the 1988 African Cup of Nations because of financial constraints stands out [23].  The lack of equipment to be able to compete in sports such as lawn tennis and the difficulty in obtaining shuttlecocks to play badminton and bowls to play bowls highlight the barriers to competing in organized sports in Zambia [24]. The inadequate organization and deficiency of qualified coaches are additional complications for Zambian sports, particularly in certain motor sports, judo, and boxing [25].

In sum, if the reader seeks an overview of the historical antecedents of Zambian sports, particularly from the period of gaining independence through the mid-1980s, this text is a good place to start. However, if a potential reader is hoping to find any detailed information about Zambian sports over the last two decades or so, it is best to look elsewhere.

End Notes

1 Roncero, T. (2012). El récord no es de Leo Messi, es de Chitalu: 107 goles en total, as, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://futbol.as.com/futbol/2012/12/11/primera/1355184891_438918.html
2 Ibid.
3 (2013). News about Lottie Mwale, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://www.fightsrec.com/lottie-mwale.html
4 p. 3
5 p. 183
6 p. 9
7 p. 4
8 Treasure, R. (2012). Lionel Messi surpasses incredible milestone set by Pele, The Independent, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/lionel-messi-surpasses-incredible-milestone-set-by-pel-8306875.html
p. 4
10 Ibid.
11 p. 42
12 (1958). Events & Discoveries, Sports Illustrated, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1003291/4/index.htm
13 (1959). Star African 3-Miler, 19, Killed in Mich. Crash, Jet, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://books.google.com/books?id=vK4DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=Yotham+Muleya&source=bl&ots=DN_jiwVRYV&sig=w4jUOgbk-ft69Ai6NSkDiPav3X4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QoJKUaWCKYXS2AXQnoCYDQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Yotham%20Muleya&f=false
14 p. 137
15 p. 155
16 p. 156
17 p. 118
18. p. 106
19. p. 99
20. p. 141
21 Miller, T. (1966). Wrestling in Zambia, Boxing Illustrated, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://www.nrzam.org.uk/KenMillersTales/Wrestling.html
22 (2012). David Phiri Obituary, The Times, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/obituaries/article3378127.ece
23 p. 31
24 p. 85, p.148, and p. 98
25 p. 104, p. 70, and p. 157

References

  1. (1958). Events & Discoveries, Sports Illustrated, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1003291/4/index.htm
  2. (1959). Star African 3-Miler, 19, Killed in Mich. Crash, Jet, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://books.google.com/books?id=vK4DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=Yotham+Muleya&source=bl&ots=DN_jiwVRYV&sig=w4jUOgbk-ft69Ai6NSkDiPav3X4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QoJKUaWCKYXS2AXQnoCYDQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Yotham%20Muleya&f=false
  3. (2012). David Phiri Obituary, The Times, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/obituaries/article3378127.ece
  4. (2013). News about Lottie Mwale, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://www.fightsrec.com/lottie-mwale.html
  5. Miller, T. (1966). Wrestling in Zambia, Boxing Illustrated, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://www.nrzam.org.uk/KenMillersTales/Wrestling.html
  6. Roncero, T. (2012). El récord no es de Leo Messi, es de Chitalu: 107 goles en total, as, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://futbol.as.com/futbol/2012/12/11/primera/1355184891_438918.html
  7. Treasure, R. (2012). Lionel Messi surpasses incredible milestone set by Pele, The Independent, retrieved March 20, 2013 from http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/lionel-messi-surpasses-incredible-milestone-set-by-pel-8306875.html

African Soccerscapes

African Soccerscapes
By Peter Alegi
Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010

Jennifer McArdle
Assistant Editor

For many people in the West, soccer and the African continent are inextricably tied. Just the word “Africa” can conjure images of barefoot youth kicking a makeshift ball on dusty African streets or hordes of raucous fans waving flags and blaring vuvuzelas. These images are so engrained in Western minds that it seems hard to imagine a time in Africa before there was soccer. But, indeed, in Peter Alegi’s African Soccerscapes, published by the Ohio University Press, readers are reminded that soccer came to Africa 150 years ago with the Europeans, and that the development of the sport in Africa has been, and still is, complex. Alegi’s thorough, almost painstaking, tale of soccer’s evolution in Africa is anything but one-dimensional. African Soccerscapes describes a continent that was shaped by soccer, while at the same time shaping the sport to its own needs and realities and using the sport to step into the international arena. Alegi presents evidence that African soccer is not only the continent’s most popular and widespread sport, but also a vehicle for nation-building, political transformation, and social change; it is both locally-tied and a vehicle for international interconnectedness.

When European colonizers brought soccer to Africa, both as entertainment and as a civilizing tool, the sport and its companion “games ethic” were often important components of the colonial education.  In various countries, African men were granted various levels of involvement—sometimes  they were encouraged to play as a way of shaping them into model colonial subjects, sometimes they were barred from the pitch. After all, 1860-1920 was an era of social hierarchies and rampant racism.  Regardless of formal structures, African males of all ages learned the rules of the game, played it informally amongst themselves, and appreciated watching others play. To Africans, soccer was one of the attractive aspects of Western culture.

As soccer’s popularity grew across the continent, more clubs and leagues were formed representing various work places, neighborhoods, and racial and ethnic groups. Some teams and leagues continued to be exclusive, while others offered opportunities for intermixing and a reduction in racial tensions. Some clubs even used soccer to resist white colonial rule.  For example, Cairo’s Al Ahly “means ‘National’ in Arabic, and its red insignia came to symbolize patriotic resistance to British rule” (22).

At the same time that soccer was being used by Africans to push for racial integration and national independence, African players were also changing the game, and infusing it with a decidedly African flavor. For example, in the African game, magic and religious superstitions were prevalent and important. Teams and players developed their own unique ways of playing, based on their own cultural values, and they didn’t necessarily conform to the European approach to the sport. Alegi writes, “African players and fans self-consciously enjoyed the cleverness, beauty and excitement of feinting and dribbling, delightful moves that elated fans but also captured the cultural importance of creativity, deception, and skill in getting around difficulties and dangerous situations in colonial societies” (34).

Thus, from the introduction of soccer to Africa in the 1860s through the first part of the twentieth century, Africans and Europeans jointly advanced the growth of soccer on the continent, each group using the sport for its own needs and developing it according to its cultural traditions. By the 1940s, soccer had a firm grip on the minds and bodies of the African people. As Africans continued to use soccer to achieve their own goals, the sport became integral in the continent’s various struggles for nationhood.

Particularly during the interwar years, soccer took on more political significance. Alegi explains, “football constructed a fragile sense of nationhood in political entities arbitrarily created by colonial powers and fueled Africa’s broader quest for political liberation” (36). For example, in 1941-1942 a Lagos club toured Nigeria, taking on a local side in front of a huge crowd, then giving a speech critical of colonial rule. In 1957, “an Algerian amateur team participated in a tournament in Moscow. In a public display of emerging nationhood, the Algerian delegation marched in front of Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev during the opening ceremony waving a new national flag” (46).  When African countries finally gained independence in the 1960s and 1970s, many states celebrated their freedom with soccer festivals. Massive soccer stadiums were early on the agenda of new governments, as national teams and facilities were important symbols of legitimate statehood.

Soccer was also used to fight against apartheid in South Africa. The FIFA suspension of South Africa in 1961 was “the first time that a major international organization had sanctioned Pretoria” (53), showing that soccer was on the forefront of taking a stand against racial injustice. Unfortunately, South Africa was reinstated in 1963, but African unity “won the day” when the South African side was suspended again in 1964 (74). South Africa was not welcomed back into FIFA until 1992 after Mandela was freed from Robben Island and the country underwent serious reforms.

Following independence, African national teams gained legitimacy on the international stage, and, “by the early 1960s, thirty-two of sixty-nine FIFA members were African” (65). African sides worked hard to find success in the global arena during this time, and despite some disappointing World Cup performances, African national teams performed admirably both in the Olympics and in international youth competitions.

Alegi goes on to detail the ups and downs of African teams on the international playing field. In this way, the first part of African Soccerscapes thoroughly explains the history and development of soccer in various nations on the African continent. The second part of the book explores issues facing African soccer in recent times, some of which have been touched upon in other Impumelelo articles.

The first of these issues is the increase in African players’ migration overseas, fueled by the increased respectability of the African game. True, African players have been migrating to Europe since the 1930s, but this movement has boomed in recent years. Alegi writes, “between 1996 and 2000 the number of Africans playing in European professional leagues increased from about 350 to more than 1,000” (79). While admittedly positive for some elite players, the movement of African players to European leagues hurts African soccer and, it has been argued, is a modern form of neocolonialism. In European leagues, African players often deal with issues of wage inequities, discrimination and racism, and stereotypes about their skills and capability at particular positions. Even the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in Poland has been marred by charges of racism, with some players claiming to have been on the receiving end of racially charged insults, according to the BBC.  A few African superstars have had great success and play for top-ranked teams. For most African players hoping to make it big, however, their reality is different; Alegi details “the existence of a soccerscape in which most African players labor in middle- and lower-tier European leagues” (100).

The migration of African players has reshaped the composition of European teams and challenged issues of race and citizenship. At the same time, it has also altered the composition of national teams from Africa, and today, most of the players who represent African national sides are, in reality, based in Europe. This has fueled other changes, like the increased commercialization of the game and the influence of media. European teams have come to replace African teams in the hearts of African soccer fans, and European clubs get disproportionate air time in African media outlets, a phenomenon dubbed “electronic colonialism” by Ohio University sports scholar Gerard Akindes. In sum, “the rapid commercialization of elite football signals the paradox of incorporation into world capitalist sport for African fans, athletes, and organizers, whereby their ‘economic and political dependence on industrialized nations is both their best hope for the future and a leading cause of their underdevelopment’” (111).

Other issues that are briefly touched at the end of Alegi’s book are the rise of soccer academies – primarily designed to hone African youth talent and funnel it overseas – and the expansion of the women’s game which is fighting for its own space in the male-dominated African soccerscape. Finally, Alegi looks at South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup and how this tournament relates to the themes of the rest of the book: “the relationship between sport, race, nationhood, and big business” (131).

Peter Alegi’s book is ambitious in scope—both geographically and chronologically. His story of soccer’s evolution in Africa covers 150 years and dozens of countries. The result is an abundance of clubs and players, administrators and national bodies that are rather hard to keep track of throughout the thread of the narrative. Yet, the beauty of Alegi’s work is that it challenges established notions about African players, fans, organizations, and the sport in general. Soccer is not something that has always existed in Africa, nor has its evolution been linear and simple. A variety of actors both on the continent and in the West have impacted the African game of soccer. Even today, African soccer continues to change in response to globalization, feminism, structural adjustment programs, commercialization, and economic and political realities. So, while the aforementioned images of barefoot youth kicking a makeshift ball on dusty African streets and hordes of raucous fans waving flags and blaring vuvuzelas are not inaccurate, they rest on a dense and complex history and a confluence of experiences that foreshadow a rich future for African soccer.

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note

When I began the editorship of IMPUMELELO, one of my goals was to establish a regular schedule for producing volumes of the journal.  That has proven to be much more difficult than I anticipated. Life has a way of disrupting schedules, and it certainly has here. The reasons are many – an irregular supply of publishable articles, lengthy editing and revision process, and unanticipated interruptions in the time I could spend on the journal, among others.  Patience from my editorial colleagues, flexibility on the part of the authors, and persistence in the face of life’s interruptions has eventually produced this issue of the journal.  It is still a goal to develop a regular schedule, and in 2012, I hope we can do that.
Now, let me welcome you to Volume 7 of IMPUMELELO.  The events of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa continue to resonate.  This issue has four interesting and divergent reflections of the occasion.  First is John Akude’s review of what happened to the Togolese national team in the Angola 2010 competition and why it has greater importance in Africa than just an incident in football competition.  Football and politics are clearly intertwined in his view.  Second is Siphokazi Magadla’s examination of Thabo Mbeki’s actions in winning the World Cup and whether or not it was because of his role and policies, his rhetoric and prophesy of an African rebirth. Mbeki’s legacy and the hosting of the World Cup suggest future potentials for the country. Andrew Carlson offers a much more detailed look at the impact of the World Cup.  His examination focuses on the experiences of seven commercial sex workers and their use of communications technology in anticipating the arrival of the Cup.  He is able to draw  conclusions about the connections micro-entrepreneurs posses and consider in making economic and social decision.  Finally, Eugene Cooper advances a football development model for Africa states.  Using the experiences of success in the football arena, he suggests that African states have the opportunity to achieve similar success in the political arena if they follow a similar path – his football development model.
I hope you will find these articles informative and even better stimulating.  As always, we welcome comments and suggestions.  I especially encourage you to submit articles for consideration. You can visit our web site for submission guidelines for articles: http://www.ohio.edu/ sportsafrica/journal/submission.htm.
Bob J. Walter
General Editor
walter@ohio.edu

Football and Politics in Africa: A Comment on The Rebel Attack on The Togolese National Team During Angola 2010 and Its Aftermath

Football and Politics in Africa: A Comment on The Rebel Attack on The Togolese National Team During Angola 2010 and Its Aftermath

John Emeka Akude
Research Fellow
German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn
Adviser, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Introduction
Unknown to many observers and experts on African politics, football has always been intertwined with politics since the inception of modern African statehood. The historical development of African states bears witness to this claim, not only with current events but also equally in a most fundamental way. The game of football was introduced to Africa in the process of European imperialism[1]. Although sailors, traders, missionaries, and their schools constituted the initial agencies of this introduction, with the advent of colonialism at the beginning of the 20th century, colonial administrators appropriated the game for purposes of colonial domination. The fear of uprisings, as a result of the artificially induced scarcity of infrastructure in the colonial enclaves that were developing into sprawling urban centres, drove the colonialists to instrumentalize football (and other sports) in order to subject the African to the colonial order[2]. Africans adopted the game, however, and adapted it for their own purposes. While struggling for independence, African nationalists used football as an agent for the articulation and dissemination of anti-colonial campaigns.

Angola 2010 has come and gone, as has the World Cup in South Africa. The time is now appropriate to review the rebel attack on the Togolese national team during Angola 2010 and its aftermath, in order to draw lessons on how to better understand and interpret the actions of African states and football associations. Most fundamentally, the occasion of Africa’s inaugural hosting of the World Cup should be used to reflect on the meaning of this popular game to Africans, an issue which has been under-researched. Despite all that has been written on this subject in the past, this reflection has been missing in Africa’s social theory[3]. This article is motivated in part to contribute to this reflection. Because of the political nature of decisions taken around the Angola incident, it is pertinent to start by reflecting on the social and political significance of football to the African.

Significance of Football to the African
Imperial and colonial relationships between the African and the European were unequal and racial ideology was used to justify this unequal relationship. Despite this, football was one of the few areas where Africans had a level playing ground and therefore relatively symmetric experiences with Europeans. An African could score a goal just like the European and could dribble him. African teams enjoyed the ultimate experience of proving to be better than their colonial overlords when African teams defeated European teams. That Africans focused on football to debunk the tenets of racial ideology which underpinned imperialism and colonialism was therefore understandable, in part because it may take a much longer time to excel in economic and political matters[4]. One may have to add that, for this purpose (excelling in economic and political matters), they have to possess political power anyway.

Football therefore contributed to strengthening the self-confidence of the African which was necessary to combat colonialism. As Fair[5] notes, football victories over teams that represented colonial ruling interests demonstrated to the Africans the possibility of defeating colonialism and thereby strengthened their resolve to struggle for independence. Starting from the 1930s, several African nationalists used football to mobilize their societies in the challenge against further imposition of colonial rule. The backdrop to this phenomenon was, in part, the frequent banning of African public gatherings by several colonial administrations. This left football as one of the very few “neutral” arenas where aspiring nationalists could address relatively large audiences without fear of immediate arrests. Thus, football increasingly became a symbol of African identity and resistance against colonialism. It is also noteworthy at this juncture that the foremost Nigerian nationalist, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, used football to mobilise Nigerian support for British participation in the Second World War against German discriminative and racial policies in Europe.  He travelled the length and breadth of Nigeria with his football team, played with several teams, and donated the gate takings to the British colonial administration as a demonstration of his support for British war efforts against Nazi Germany. But in the same vein, he was asking the British officials in Nigeria; ‘if we are all prosecuting a war against Nazi Germany for her discriminative and occupational policies in Europe, what are you still doing here?’

Furthermore, by establishing and successfully managing African football teams during colonialism, Africans cemented the foundations of a national identity that was essentially anti-colonial. In almost all African countries, indigenous control over football management preceded political independence. Consequent to the attainment of independence, membership of international football and other sporting federations was simultaneously accomplished with membership of the United Nations. In this way, football became a symbol of international sovereignty for African states and citizens. Football games also featured prominently in the ensuing celebrations marking the arrival of African states to sovereign statehood [6]. This legacy has continued until today where football games have become prominent features of all types of celebrations amongst the African political elite.

Football has been used to settle political misunderstandings. Nigeria’s national legislature played against the executive arm of government to ease tensions between the two state institutions in 2002[7] It has even contributed to reconciliations and ceasefires in the process of war. Paul Richards[8] reports that the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels of Sierra Leone organized a football competition to help improve relations with the local population after their attacks on Sierra Rutile mines at Mobimbi, during the civil war that raged in that country between 1991 and 2003.  In another instance, a ceasefire was arranged between the Nigerian and the Biafran soldiers during the Nigerian Civil War[9] to enable the soldiers watch the performance of Pelé who was then on visit to Nigeria[10]

Although most African states lack “horizontal legitimacy”[11] the tremendous enthusiasm and feeling of patriotism with which African citizens support their national football teams leaves one wondering what happened to the ever so present ethnic, tribal, regional, or religious conflicts that seem to engulf Africa[12]. For whatever reasons, the governance of football in Africa (though still amateurish) is much better than the governance of national economy and politics. Football has thus become so important to the African because through it, he is able to demonstrate his organizational ability, leadership qualities, resistance to oppression, national identity, adaptability, social cohesion, and international sovereignty. In Africa, therefore, football is often more than just a game!

The Incident
On the 8th of January, 2010, two days before the start of the African Nations Football Cup in Angola (Angola 2010), armed rebels of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) attacked the national team of the Republic of Togo on the outskirts of the Cabinda region as the team made its way from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Cabinda, Angola, where their group B matches were slated. The driver, assistant trainer, and public relations officer of the team were killed in the incident and several players injured. The Togolese government decided to withdraw the national team from the Angola 2010 football competition despite all the efforts of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as well as those of the Angolan football authorities to persuade them to continue their participation. Following this decision of the Togolese government, CAF banned Togo from participation in African Nations Cup competitions for four years on the grounds of “political interference”[13].

The global press and public opinion reacted with outrage at CAF’s decision which appeared insensitive and inhuman. CAF’s President, Issa Hayatou, made it clear, however, that CAF would have decided otherwise had the players complained that they were unable to continue their participation in the competition as a result of the attack (cf. BBC 2010). But, because the players were ready to continue in the competition only to be recalled home by the President of Togo, it becomes a clear case of political interference which CAF should not condone as a matter of principle. The rationale for the emotional outrage of several football fans, officials, and journalists could be reduced to two questions: 1) Why should Cabinda be chosen as a host city despite three decades of “civil war” there?  2) Why should Angola (a country in civil war) receive the right to host African Nations Cup?  The incident was even linked to South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup 2010, despite the 2,000 kilometres that separate the two countries. The President of Bayern Munich, Uli Hoeness, questioned the rationale behind FIFA’s decision to award the hosting rights to South Africa which happens to share geographical region with Angola. This review intends to demonstrate that these questions show a lack of appreciation of the significance of football in Africa.

Understanding the nomination of Cabinda as one of the host regions and CAF’s decision
Without intending to hold brief for Angola or CAF, this paper seeks to offer the basis for understanding Angola’s decision to use Cabinda as one of the venues, and CAF’s punishment of Togo. The rationale thereby hints at the significance of football in Africa, which might be somewhat different from other continents. The parallel emergence of modern African statehood and African football is indicated above. The widest accepted definition of a state, derived from Max Weber, sees the state’s claim to the control over the instruments of violence as being decisive in the state’s expression of domestic sovereignty. Sovereignty, states Alan James[14], is unitary and absolute. This implies that states jealously guard their sovereignty and resist sharing it within their territories of jurisdiction.  FLEC has been violently challenging the sovereignty of the state of Angola in the Cabinda enclave following Angolan independence in 1975.  Angola could assert its sovereignty in Cabinda by hosting the African Nations Cup there, and given the significance of football in Africa, do so in a dramatic and expressive way as widely recognized in Africa.

Refusing to use Cabinda as a venue for the competitions would be tantamount to relinquishing the sovereignty over this enclave to the rebels, and no state does this willingly. Thus, it was imperative for the state of Angola to use Cabinda as a host city while providing security for players, fans, officials, and journalists during the competition. As far as this was the case, the hosting of the African Nations Cup by Angola should be judged a success.

The attack on and the deaths of two members of the Togolese national team (the third dead was a driver) created a problem for the Angolan government and CAF. For having their carefully thought-out plans disrupted, Angola and CAF were right to be displeased with Togo. Why?

Angola’s hosting of African Nations Cup offered an opportunity for FLEC to demonstrate to the outside world that the state is not in control of all its territory.  More significantly, FLEC could gain global publicity, a common aim of terrorist groups. With this in mind, an official of the Organizing Committee of African Nations Cup in Angola (COCAN), Virgilio Santos, stated that there were clear instructions to all visiting teams not to travel by road[15].  This would suggest that, in order to avoid a terrorist attack, teams should simply fly (and not drive) into Angola. Only the Togolese officials knew why they decided to drive. And until these officials adequately explain why they ignored the instructions of the host nation and decided to the contrary, we just have to assign the blame for the attack to them.

Togolese officials cannot deny knowledge of the dangers in the Cabinda region. In addition to the warning from Santos, they sought police and military escort as protective measures for the dangerous journey. One could speculate that they figured the armed police and military escorts would shoot back, should the rebels attack. And this was exactly what happened.  Unfortunately enough, they were sitting in-between the two forces. In this sense, one could argue that they got what they wished. With this irresponsible (excuse my choice of words) decision, they brought the whole efforts of the Angolan government and those of CAF, aimed at guaranteeing a secured and violence-free competition, into disrepute.

Understanding the choice of Angola
Regarding question 2 above, it has to be stated that Angola is not experiencing any civil war! The state of Angola is weak and corrupt, just like many others in Africa. Persistent violence against the state from certain sections of society is often a regular concomitant of such state of affairs. Should CAF disqualify all African states under rebel attacks from the list of possible hosts for the Nations Cup, there should be hardly any state left in Africa to host the Nations Cup.  Furthermore, there is no precedence to this suggestion. The precedence has rather been the opposite: Senegal (despite Casamance rebel attacks) hosted the 1992 edition of the Nations Cup and Nigeria (despite Niger Delta rebel attacks) was host in 2000, just to mention two examples.

Conclusion
This paper has tried to demonstrate the political importance of football to African states by showing the historical development of this significance. In so doing, it also justifies not only the hosting of the African Nations Cup by Angola but also CAF’s punishment of the Togolese football association. This should not be misconstrued as a heartless analysis which lends support to punishing an association that has already suffered three deaths, injuries, trauma, etc. Rather, it questions the rationale behind the Togolese decision to enter into Angola by road despite the clear and present danger associated with such a move. This becomes even more urgent when one realizes that the organizing committee gave clear instructions against such decisions. The advice at this point is that Togo should use this incident as an opportunity to sanitize its football management which has been abysmally poor.

One is reminded of the embarrassment suffered by all Africans during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, following the resignation of Togolese national coach in the midst of the competition. Togo qualified for the World Cup for the first time with the Nigerian-born trainer, Stephen Keshi, who was sacked four months to the tournament. A German coach, Otto Pfister, then took the squad to Germany in 2006. A few days before Togo’s inaugural World Cup game (against South Korea), Pfister resigned, citing non-payment of players’ bonuses as his rationale. All these issues could be adjudged normal, according to African standards of football management. What is abnormal, however, was that the officials of the Togolese national team, in a subsequent press conference, could not answer a journalist’s question regarding the name of the new coach whom they had allegedly contacted. One official just said that they were having positive negotiations with one “Christoph.” At that point, the Togolese players sitting with him at the table burst out laughing, to the consternation of their officials and curiosity of television viewers. Either there was no name to produce (which means the official was lying to the press) or the officials have so undermined themselves that the players don’t take them seriously anymore, or possibly both. Whichever it was, it created embarrassment not only for Togolese football, but also for African football in general.

This incident is another pointer to the poor quality of football management in Togo. Instead of criticising CAF’s decision, Togolese football association should use this opportunity to sanitise its football management by investigating the rationale behind the dangerous decision taken by its football officials to travel overland to Cabinda and punish the culprits adequately.

[1](Oliver 1992, Darby 2002, Armstrong and Giulianotti 2004, Boer 2003)

[2] (cf. Darby 2002, Boer 2003 on Nigeria; Bale and Sang 1996 on Kenyan athletics; Nauright 1997 on South Africa)

[3] 1) Paul Darby (2002) is an exception to this generalization. In Chapter 2, he dwells extensively on the diffusion of football in colonial Africa and its appropriation by the nationalists to fight colonialism from which the meaning for football to Africans emerged, namely as a unifying force against colonialism.

[4]  (Darby 2002).

[5]  (1997)

[6] (Darby 2002) 2) Nigeria erected a national stadium in Surulere, Lagos, to celebrate independence in October 1960.

[7]  (cf. Boer 2004).

[8]  (1997:150)

[9] (1967-70)

[10] (Ali 1984: 46).

[11] (Holsti 1996),

[12] 3) All these divisive factors find their way back into the national psyche immediately the tournament is over. How to make this football-related patriotism transcend the realm of the game, become more permanent, and possibly constitute a basis for nation building merits further research.

[13] Chances are that, with the intervention of the International Sports Court of Arbitration in Paris, this punishment may be commuted or even entirely lifted.

[14] (1986)

[15] (cf. Focus 2010)

References

  1. BBC Sport Football (2010). “Togo banned from the next two African cups of Nations” in Internet: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/8489127.stm (Stand 01.05.2010)
  1. BBC Sport Football (2010a). “FIFA President Sepp Blatter blasts South Africa Critics” in internet: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/8510891.stm (Stand: 17.05.2010)
  1. Fox Sports (2010). “Football: CAF suspend Togo for next Two Africa Cup of Nations in internet:http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,26657104-23215,00.html(Stand:
  2. 01.05.2010
  1. Focus Online Sport (2010). “Afrika Cup: Drei Tote beim Anschlag: Togo reist ab” in internet :http://www.focus.de/sport/fussball/afrika-cup-drei-tote-bei-anschlag-togo-reist-ab_aid_469129.html
  1. Ali, R. (1984). In the Big League: The Rise of African Football.  London: Festac, a division of Afropress Ltd.
  1. Boer, W. K., (2004). “A Story of Heroes, Of Epics: The Rise of Football in Nigeria” in Gary Armstrong and Richard Giulianotti (eds.): Football in Africa: Conflict, Conciliation and Community. Hampshire and NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  1. Boer, W. K. (2003). Nation Building Exercise: Sporting Culture and the Rise of Football in Colonial Nigeria. New Haven: Yale University.
  1. Darby, P. (2002). Africa, Football and FIFA: Politics, Colonialism and Resistance. London and Portland, Oregon: Frank Cass.
  1. Fair, L. (1997). “Kicking It: Leisure, Politics and Football in Zanzibar, 1900 – 1950s”, Africa 67, 2, pp. 224.252
  1. Holsti, K. (1996). The State, War and the State of War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  1. James, A. (1986). Sovereign Statehood. London: Allen and Unwin.
  1. Nauright, J (1997). Sports, Culture and Identities in South Africa. London: Leicester University Press.
  1. Oliver, G. (1992). Guinness Record of World Soccer: The History of The Game in Over 150 Countries. London: Enfield, Guinness.
  1. Richards, P. (1977). “Soccer and Violence in War-Torn Africa: Soccer and Social Rehabilitation in Sierra Leone” in Armstrong. G. / Giulianotti, R. (eds.), Entering the Field: New Perspectives on World Football. Oxford: Berg.
  1. Weber, Max (1972). Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft: Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie, 5th Edition. Tuebingen: J.C.B. Mohr.

The Super-diplomat: Thabo Mbeki’s African Renaissance and South Africa FIFA World Cup 2010

The Super-diplomat: Thabo Mbeki’s African Renaissance and South Africa FIFA World Cup 2010

Siphokazi Magadla
Rhodes University
South Africa

Abstract

In defining Thabo Mbeki as the super-diplomat, Olivier argues that “while the original pan-Africanists sought the ‘political kingdom’ for Africa,” Thabo Mbeki “casts himself as a neo-pan-Africanist, seeking the economic kingdom for the ailing continent.”[1] This paper argues that South Africa’s victory in hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup was an extension of South Africa’s foreign policy agenda. In particular, the narratives used by South Africa in gaining support to host this mega-sporting event became an emblem of Thabo Mbeki’s continental and international agenda of constructing South Africa as a leader and voice of the African continent. South Africa’s potential to host the World Cup became part of Mbeki’s rhetoric and prophesy of an African rebirth. This contemporary conception of foreign policy and international standing based on the prestige of hosting an international event is echoed in the past by the 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted and won by South Africa.  This gave the world the first imagery of South Africa’s potential to become the post-Apartheid ‘rainbow nation’. It also significantly contributed symbolically to Nelson Mandela’s domestic agenda of nation-building and reconciliation. South Africa’s slogan, “It’s Africa’s turn,” in the bidding for the World Cup symbolized a shift from domestic rhetoric to a more inclusive continental rhetoric under Mbeki.  This paper asks: How much of South Africa’s ability to win the bid to host the World Cup was due to its foreign policy at the time? In particular, how did Thabo Mbeki’s role as the main protagonist for an African Renaissance contribute to the world’s imagination of seeing the World Cup as a contribution to the rebirth of Africa? What are the consequences and implications of this pan-Africanist construction of the World Cup? Lastly, how will South Africa’s foreign policy and perceived place in the world change in the current leadership of Jacob Zuma? South Africa faces the challenge of combining the domestic vision of a ‘rainbow nation’ with that of a greater African kingdom. Mbeki’s fall from power was symbolic of this urgency to ‘save’ both Africa and South Africa simultaneously.

Introduction
This is an African journey of hope – hope that, in time, we will arrive at a future when our continent will be free of wars, refugees and displaced people; free of tyranny, or racial, ethnic and religious divisions and conflicts; of hunger and the accumulated weight of centuries of the denial of our dignity…nothing could ever serve to energize our people to work for their and Africa’s upliftment more than to integrate among tasks of our Second Decade of Democracy and the African Renaissance our successful hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.[2]

For many South Africans and the world at large, 2010 is a historically remarkable year, one which not only marks 16 years since the end of the Apartheid government, but also almost two decades of a democratic regime under the African National Congress (ANC). It is 20 years since the February 11th 1990 release of the first Black South African President, Nelson Mandela, from prison. It also is the year that for the first time an African country has been selected to host the 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) soccer World Cup (henceforth called the World Cup) starting June 11, 2010, the biggest sporting mega-event in the world.  It is important to note that South Africa’s winning of the FIFA 2010 bid was second time luck, after losing the 2006 World Cup bid by only one vote to Germany. Germany won the rights to host the world cup in 2000, while South Africa was granted the rights for the 2010 tournament in 2004.  Both of these time periods were when former South African president Mbeki was in power, from 1999 until his resignation in September 2008.

The purpose of this paper is not only to trace Mbeki’s role in the bidding process for hosting the  World Cup, but also to argue persuasively that the World Cup became an extension of Mbeki’s foreign policy agenda.  In particular, the narratives used by South Africa in gaining support to host this mega-sporting event became an emblem of Thabo Mbeki’s continental and international agenda of constructing South Africa as a leader and voice of the African continent. The paper asserts that South Africa’s potential to host the World Cup became part of Mbeki’s rhetoric and prophesy of an African rebirth, the African Renaissance. In a larger context, South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup can be examined as an indication of its merit as one of the emerging global powers from the South such as China, Brazil and India. The countries like South Africa have taken seriously the successful hosting of sporting mega-events to signal their growing might in the international relations. The paper also argues that the World Cup is exemplary of South Africa’s reliance on liberal institutionalism to assert its power and ideas about the how the global order can be transformed to favor nations of the South.

The 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted and won by South Africa, was significant domestically as it indicated South Africa’s potential to become the post-Apartheid ‘rainbow nation,’ thereby contributing symbolically to Nelson Mandela’s domestic agenda of nation-building and reconciliation. The 1995 Rugby World Cup was also significant for South Africa’s place in the international order as it indicated that South Africa was not just another poor post-colonial African state; it was in fact transitioning from apartheid with “middle power” status.[3] Therefore, as Barber[4] argues, South Africa’s entry into Africa’s and the international system has not been whether or not it would play a role but rather what kind of role it would play and how other states would respond to it. Habib also asserts that South Africa’s “aggregate capabilities in terms of economic, diplomatic and military capacities, in relation to other African nations, automatically defined it, at least for now, as a regional power or hegemon. This status imparted to it a set of privileges, obligations and responsibilities that separate it from its African counterparts.”[5] South Africa’s ability to engage in the political economy of sporting mega-events should be read against South Africa’s unique position in Africa’s international relations and those of the countries of the South in general.

The paper asks: how much of South Africa’s ability to win the bid to host the World Cup was due to its foreign policy at the time? In particular, how did Thabo Mbeki’s role as the main protagonist for an African Renaissance contribute to the world’s imagination of seeing the World Cup as a contribution to the rebirth of Africa? What are the consequences and implications of this pan-Africanist construction of the World Cup? Lastly, how will South Africa’s foreign policy and representation in the world change with the current leadership of Jacob Zuma?

South Africa is no stranger to hosting international events. Since 1994, South Africa has hosted over 17 sporting mega-events including the A1 Grand Prix in 2006, Fina Swimming World Cup in 2003, the Red Bull Wave Africa in 1998, the 2006 Paralympics Swimming World Champs, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, 1995 Rugby World Cup, 1996 World Cup of Athletics, 2005 and 2008 Women’s World Cup of Golf, 1996 Africa Nations Cup, 1998 All Africa Games, and the 2009 Confederations Cup amongst others. Yet, without a doubt, the FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, outside of the Olympic Games, and is the mother of all sporting events – the crème de la crème! Indeed, South Africa has joined a growing group of developing countries who are keen competitors of the mega-sporting enterprise, for decades a privilege of the industrial Western world. Compared to other developing continents, such as Latin America and Asia, Africa has hosted fewer mega-events that both of these continents individually. Asia has hosted the Olympics in Japan 1940 and China 2008, and the soccer World Cup in South Korea in 2004. Brazil, having hosted a World Cup before, will play host to the 2016 Olympic Games; Chile and Uruguay have all hosted the soccer World Cup before.

David Black asserts that the underlying imperative for developing nations to compete for hosting these mega-events is to “…signal developmental advances or ‘arrival.’” In the case of South Africa, the arguments presented below will emphasize that the “signaling impulse” that is behind the 2010 World Cup is both an economic and political impulse that asserts South Africa as a leader and voice of the African cause.[6]
The ‘Gucci revolutionary’ and the African Renaissance
No typical revolutionary, that much is obvious… Mbeki dresses distinctively, favoring houndstooth sports jackets or Cuban shirts. His pipe and favorite Bay Rum tobacco are never far from hand, projecting an image of sophistication and contemplation – the English intellectual. In some circles, his designer suits have earned him the name of a ‘Gucci revolutionary.’[7]

Mbeki’s history goes beyond his credentials as the first Black deputy president of Nelson Mandela’s 1994 administration and as the second democratically elected president in 1999 under the ruling political party, the African National Congress (ANC). The son of Govern Mbeki, he was a member of the Communist Party of South Africa (SACP) who was arrested and sentenced in the Rivonia trial of 1963 to 1964 with Nelson Mandela.  Thabo Mbeki spent 28 years of his life working for the ANC in exile, as Oliver Tambo’s (Oliver Tambo was the president of the ANC for 30 years in exile) protégée and the Secretary of Presidential Affairs from 1985 until he became the Head of International Affairs in 1989. Mbeki has a Masters degree in Economics from Sussex University in the United Kingdom (UK).  In 1970 he received military training in the former Soviet Union. Indeed, Mbeki is an international relations man and it is no wonder that his foreign policy as president will likely remain one of the most ambitious for years to come.

As Olivier puts it, Mbeki “paints his foreign policy with a broad brush and his vision for Africa is grandiloquent, setting himself an agenda which is simultaneously ambitious, missionary and somewhat romantic, but daunting in complexity and magnitude.”[8] Unlike his predecessor Mandela, who had an immediate domestic agenda of reconciliation between the former creators and maintainers of Apartheid and its victims into one “Rainbow nation,” “…President Mbeki’s tenor had revealed a shift away from a focus on the ‘Rainbow Nation’ to that of ‘Africanism.’[9] This is not to suggest that, under Mandela, South Africa’s foreign policy was less ambitions. Mandela himself in “South Africa’s future foreign policy” in the journal Foreign Affairs underscored that South Africa’s foreign policy beyond 1994 would be committed to issues of human rights as a fundamental pillar of South Africa’s participation in international affairs, which would be premised in the promotion of democracy worldwide, the entrenchment of international law, African development amongst others.[10] Although it was under Mandela’s leadership that South Africa first participated in peacekeeping in Lesotho in 1998, the majority of South Africa’s role in peace and security in Africa and elsewhere took place under Mbeki’s leadership.  This is because during Mandela’s time the country was still in the human and ideological transformation of the apartheid foreign affairs department as well as the transformation of the South African Defence Force to the new South African National Defence Force in order to reflect the new image of the country.

Notably, Mbeki’s term in office was a time when several African states were embroiled in civil conflict – such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Sudan, and Cote d’Ivoire, among others.  Additionally, South Africa’s neighbors, Namibia and Mozambique, were recovering from recent civil conflict.  Considering the various civil wars that ravished more than a few African countries in the 1990s and early 2000s and the bleak post-conflict situation they faced, one can argue that the continent was in need of a strong personality and vision, like Mbeki’s image of the whole continent being born again or at the very least revived. South Africa is in the top 15 of military and police contribution to United Nations (UN) peace missions in line with White Paper on South African Participation in International Peace Missions approved by parliament in 1999. South Africa has taken part in 14 peace mission since 1999. South African troops have served in UN and African Union (AU) missions in Burundi, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Comoros and Liberia among others. South Africa has also facilitated peace agreements in the DRC, Zimbabwe (with much criticism on Mbeki’s mediation), Ivory Coast and Sudan. In all these countries South Africa has tried to export its mechanism of a negotiated settlement. At times South Africa has been criticized of using negotiated settlement as the gospel of mediation which helps despots like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe to cling to power.[11]
Within the United Nations (UN), South Africa is a vocal member of the Group of 77 countries (G77) composed of developing states mostly from Latin America, Africa and Asia who mobilize their vote within the UN system against the votes of Western industrial states. South Africa has twice won the vote to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2007-2008 and 2011-2012. Within the continent the transformation of the OAU into the AU in 2002 in Durban, South Africa, is regarded as Mbeki’s brainchild as it occurred under his chairmanship, with the close support of his counterparts such as Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade. The AU’s security mandate is decisively expanded giving the organization the power to intervene in internal affairs for purposes of human rights signified by the establishment of the African Standby Force and the operationalization of the  African Peer Review Mechanism which monitors that AU member states adhere to human rights and other democratic processes. It also is leading the discussion and foundation of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) which seeks to provide a continental response to Africa’s persistent development challenges.[12] Together with Egypt, Nigeria, Libya, and Algeria, South Africa is one of the five countries within the AU that provide 75% of the AU budget. It was during this period of Mbeki’s presidential activism within the continent that we have seen an end to several of Africa’s civil wars such as Liberia (2003), Angola (2002), Burundi (2000), Cote d’Ivoire (2002), Central African Republic (2007), and Uganda (2006).

South Africa has done the same in consolidating the voice of the developing world by its role in other intergovental organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), in 2003 South Africa was one of the founding members of the Group of 20 countries (G20) with Brazil and India. A group of developing nations that seeks to pressure wealthy states in the WTO to reverse their protectionism in trade, especially with regards to agriculture. Also under Mbeki’s leadership in 2003, South Africa was a founding member of the India, Brazil, and South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) which seeks to increase South to South trade cooperation. As well, South Africa has also been the chair between 1998-2001 of the Non-Aligned Movement, composed mostly of the G77 countries that seek to place the interest of the developing world at the top of the global agenda.
Under Mbeki’s leadership, South Africa also became well known not only for hosting sporting mega-events, South Africa is also a well-known host of global conference that seek to foster collective agreements on various issues such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development  (UNCTAD) Summit in 1996, Non Aligned Movement Summit 19998, World Aids Summit in 2000, World Conference Against Racism in 2001, World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, and others.

This has led some, like Olivier, to call him the uber diplomat or the super-diplomat who unlike the “original pan-Africanists [who] sought the ‘political kingdom’ for Africa”, Thabo Mbeki “casts himself as a neo-pan-Africanist, seeking the economic kingdom for the ailing continent.” Olivier casts Mbeki as the ultimate prophet, who “believes in grand plans and total solutions for Africa, creating enormous expectations, and raising questions about risks and consequences of over-extension and failure to deliver.” Others like Vale and Maseko have accused Mbeki of becoming an uncritical advocate of Western style development in Africa.  Habib argues that Mbeki should be understood as a second generation African leader whose nationalist ambitions is “to overthrow the yoke of colonialism.” However, unlike the first generation such as Nkrumah or Nyerere, Mbeki’s generation is conscious of their “countries relative weakness and is aware that their anti-colonial agendas will not materialize outside the transformation of the balance of power in the global order.” In this next section the paper unravels how the 2010 World Cup become embedded in Mbeki’s agenda of transforming Africa’s place in the international order.[13]

Mbeki’s African Renaissance and the World Cup
The critical matter however is that we have a duty to define ourselves. We speak about the need for the African Renaissance in part so that we ourselves, and not the other, determine who we are, what we stand for, what our vision and hopes are, how we do things, what programmes we adopt to make our lives worth living, who we relate to and how.[14]

Cornelissen argues that the benefits of mega-events, such as the World Cup, are well documented.  The biggest benefits are mostly economic, and include the opportunity for the host to show their investment potential to tourism to a global audience, to the reality that these mega-events present an enormous flow of international capital. Van der Merwe states that “mega-events hosted in developing nations are often seen as a mixed blessing. Whilst they promise numerous opportunities to boost the nation in a variety of ways, they are often seen as being the source of much controversy and if not carefully planned can result in heavy financial losses.”[15]

The Mbeki administration promised that the World Cup would create 77,400 permanent jobs, a significant amount in a jobless economy with 24% unemployment and 2% increase of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year. In addition, US$550 million additional income taxes were the tangible economic benefits of the tournaments which were projected to be higher than the cost of the tournament to the national budget.[16] The eventual taking place of the tournament revealed that the World Cup injected just 0.4% to the country’s GDP, while it created 130,000 jobs according to South African Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan.[17] This is while the government spent more than US$ 4 billion on infrastructure development, such as stadiums, transport, and telecommunications. A year later, the quantifiable benefits of the World Cup remain contested. The infrastructure development, however, such as the controversial Gautrain railway and others, is one development that reminds many South Africans on a daily basis of the legacy of the World Cup. The fate of the maintenance of stadiums outside well known busy metropoles such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban remains to be seen. South Africa’s hosting of the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Durban in July 2011 (the first for an African country) is an indication that South Africa will continue to use sporting mega-events to facilitate its development and foreign policy agenda despite its September, 2011 withdrawal to bid Durban as a the Olympics host city for the 2020 Olympics.

Beyond the economic benefit of sports mega-events, Cornelissen discusses the political nature of these competitions, indicating that sporting mega-events “are increasingly developing into a political commodity for countries.” He continues to argue that the political character of these events means that “domestically, elites must engage in legitimizing exercises to gain the necessary level of support to carry bids forward.” Internationally, “the bid processes are generally characterized by extensive state bargaining, leveraging and negotiating the draw from established political and economic ties or loyalties.” Identity informs a large part of both domestic and global legitimization of competing countries. [18]

Mbeki used the narrative of the African Renaissance to gain South African legitimacy onto the world stage. South Africa already had the upper economic muscle in comparison to Morocco, the other African country to make it to the final bidding stage of the 2010 World Cup.  Van der Merwe states that a close inspection of South Africa’s choice to host the 2006 Cricket World Cup with Kenya and Zimbabwe was a strategic move which sought to affirm the “country’s African identity…the overall ‘African Safari’ motif of the tournament, which became the strategic marketing approach of choice, sought to stamp a uniquely ‘Africanised’ version of a game bequeathed on former colonies by British imperialism and aimed to broaden the cultural base of the game.” Despite of the political controversy of co-hosting the Cricket World Cup with Zimbabwe, what can be deduced is that South Africa’s use of this event to dispel the myth that “Africa was not suited to hosting such events’ was successful as it strengthened their bid to host the soccer World Cup.[19]

Mbeki’s African Renaissance, defined as Africa’s ability to chart its own destiny, is embedded in a heavy postcolonial rhetoric which at once asserted Africa’s autonomy from former colonizers and simultaneously looked to the nations of the G8 for example for the funding of NEPAD programs. Most explicitly, Mbeki and his African counterparts argued that the international community had an obligation to support this African cause. This was evident in Mbeki’s strong reaction to South Africa’s loss of the 2006 World Cup bid in 2000 when he stated “when will some in Europe be ready to accept that Africa is part of the global human family and not irrelevant appendage whose marginalization is, to some in developed Europe, an acceptable outcome?”[20] This was also evidenced by Mbeki’s and Obasanjo’s, constant sales pitches to the rich nations not only to support politically the vision of an African rebirth, but also to sustain it financially.

Cornelissen and Swart support this conception of mega-events as political constructs in their article arguing that “rhetorically, bid processes or events themselves have been used to communicate key messages to South African populace and the wider international community, partly with the purpose of shaping a new South African society, and partly with the aim of bolstering the so-called African Renaissance.” They further continue to assert that South Africa’s bidding for mega-events has two characteristics: the first is an appeal about the developmental nature of these mega-events for the national and regional economy. They argue that the second feature of South Africa’s bidding strategy has been the promotion of a particular conception of the African continent, and an overall tailoring of a bid campaigns or even hosted events around arguments of the need for Africa’s revival- and axiomatically the obligation on the international community to reward all efforts towards this end, including South Africa’s goals of furthering the so-called African Renaissance through political programmes.[21]

Several scholars, using similar arguments, argue that Mbeki’s use of the World Cup to accomplish South Africa’s foreign policy goals is analogous to Mandela’s use of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted and won by South Africa, for the purposes of nation building, the reconciliation process, and the establishment of South Africa as a ‘rainbow nation.’ Van der Merwe states that, even though the Rugby World Cup of 1995 in no way created the rainbow nation, the coming together of Black and White South Africans united by a sport that is historically perceived as an Apartheid sport, as compared to soccer which is popular among the Black population, contributed symbolically to the imagery of the Rainbow Nation. He states that the mega-event “proved to be cathartic for South Africa at a time when the nation was galvanized through the ‘one team, one nation’ slogan…the slogan, which extended into the identity-building of the ‘Rainbow Nation’, was to become a cornerstone of Mandela’s presidency.” Van der Merwe continues by suggesting that the “event appeared to capture the imagination of the nation and provided a poignant focal point for the country’s multi-racial aspirations…the Rugby World Cup was one of those classic textbook cases suggestive of the liberating nature of sports events with a powerful symbolic appeal.”[22] Henceforth, this paper argues that, what the 1995 Rugby World Cup was for Mandela’s domestic agenda of reconciliation and nation-building, is what the 2010 World Cup was for Mbeki global emancipation agenda.

Punching above their weight? Making true of the African promise
There is a contested evaluation of South Africa’s impact in Africa. Some scholars have even suggested that South Africa might be punching above its middle status as its domestic challenges of poverty, HIV/AIDS, crime, and others indicate that South Africa might not be in a good position to proclaim to be the leader of Africa’s development, despite its hegemonic status in Africa.[23] Others have also suggested that South Africa’s proclamation of leading the continent is a self-interested strategy which ensures that South Africa has a monopoly of the economic opportunities in the continent[24] Habib asserts that there has been “much concern expressed about the consequences of the unregulated march of South African corporate on the continent.” Desai and Vahed have also been critical of Mbeki indicating that it has not been helpful to Africa, but instead has only helped the country in consistently “showcasing of South Africa as Africa’s powerhouse [and] is serving to reinforce the country’s exceptionalism and national chauvinism.” They argue that South Africa has failed to deliver on its domestic economic and developmental promises to South Africans.[25] Additionally, the use of the African Renaissance rhetoric, appealing to South Africa’s championing of Africa’s interests, is in reality flawed as South Africa’s policies towards the continent reveal a neo-colonial agenda which sees the country exploiting its economic superiority to force other African nations into obedience.
Sahra Ryklief, in Desai and Vahed, states that “Mbeki’s African Renaissance is the best thing that has ever happened to South Africa’s (still overwhelmingly white) capital in a long time.”[26] The author further argues that the South African government’s delayed and lukewarm reaction to the xenophobic attacks that rocked the country in May 2008 when South Africans attacked African foreign nationals resulting in 62 deaths, hundreds injured, and thousands African foreign nationals displaced is yet another example of South Africa’s contradictory foreign policy stance. It is worth noting that the xenophobic attacks of 2008 occurred under Mbeki’s term of office.

As Cornelissen and Swart also state “as effective as political and other rhetoric may be in certain instances, however, it could also rebound dangerously and jeopardize the campaigns driven by developing countries.” Thabo Mbeki’s involvement in the South African bid, and to a larger extent his personal imprint in South Africa’s foreign policy, garnered him a lot of international respect (despite criticism of Mbeki policy towards Zimbabwe) and undoubtedly South Africa’s ability to win the bid is seen as progressive, and a practical contribution and support to the “African cause” championed by Mbeki.[27] However, this paper also argues that Mbeki’s expansive foreign policy objectives contributed to his domestic unpopularity as the public began seeing him as more interested in continental affairs than domestic affairs. Even the 2008 xenophobic attacks that embarrassed Mbeki as the champion of African solidarity can be examined as resulting from slow government delivery in these promises on alleviating poverty, crime, and other issues that erupted in aggressive responses from ordinary South Africans. This is in part demonstrated by the increasing militancy of labour protests and the growth of shack dweller movements (slum movements) in the country. Other policy issues outside of poverty, crime, and housing have included the government’s policy on HIV/AIDS. Many accused the Mbeki administration of not taking HIV/AIDS as an urgent threat, while South Africa has one of the world’s largest HIV/AIDS affected populations.[28]

Overall, Mbeki’s time in power represented the constant tension that tends to be heavier for developing nations’ agendas. Mbeki faced the challenge of addressing South Africa’s international objectives while managing to deliver on the urgent needs of the poor majority of South Africans. Mbeki’s fall from power was due to tensions within his own party (the ruling ANC), in particular Mbeki’s firing of then Deputy President Jacob Zuma in 2005 leading to Mbeki’s resignation from office in 2008. Some scholars, such as Gumede, argue that Mbeki’s administration were out of touch elites who did not fully comprehend the problems faced by ordinary men and women of South Africa.[29] Indeed, Mbeki faced the challenge of combining the domestic vision of a ‘rainbow nation’ with that of a greater African kingdom. Mbeki’s fall from power was symbolic of this urgency to ‘save’ both Africa and South Africa simultaneously. His growing domestic unpopularity, combined with international criticism of his policy on Zimbabwe, ultimately made it impossible for Mbeki to win either of his missions – domestic and continental.

This tension regarding the expectations of South Africa’s role as a continental powerhouse and the need for South Africa to address the persistent domestic challenges is discernable in South Africa’s new White Paper on foreign policy under the Zuma administration.[30] Although the paper is a clear continuation of Mbeki’s policy on the African agenda, South to South cooperation, multilateralism, and the South African model of negotiated settlements, the paper frequently expresses an unclear need for South Africa to always link its foreign policy agenda to its domestic interests. As Cillier and Handy note, “despite the rhetoric about links between foreign policy and national interests the Zuma administration failed clearly to define what these national interest are and how their realization would alter conduct of external affairs.”[31] Another concern regarding the new White Paper is the ill-defined use of the term of Ubuntu diplomacy based on the premise of “putting people first,” whether South Africa’s use of this contested pan-Africanist concept is a revision of Mbeki’s African Renaissance.  It is unclear how South Africa’s adoption of this concept as directing its actions internationally will be implemented. Some are positing that the underscoring of the need for South Africa to look inward is an indication that South Africa will no longer be at the forefront of settling peace and the security issues in the continent. The recent delay by the Zuma administration in reacting to recent crisis cases such as Ivory Coast and Libya are indications that South Africa’s dominance in the continent’s affairs might well be declining.

Nevertheless, this paper concludes, in line with Cornelissen and Swart[32] but now with the ability to reflect on the legacy of the World Cup, that the country should continue using sporting mega-events to channel both its domestic and international objectives, but needs to ensure that South Africa is not “punching above their weight.” South Africa is in a better position to continue using sporting mega-events to propel its development as Africa is more peaceful today than during Mbeki’s era, and has a visible rapid growth in several African states such as neighboring Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, and Nigeria. It appears that, although South Africa emerged post 1994 as the lonely hegemon in an unstable continent, this new millennium will see the emergence of other powers within the continent shifting from a unipolar to a multipolar continent. This multipolar phenomenon is reflective of the global phenomenon where the United States is no longer the lonely hegemon, but balances its power with others such as Germany, China, and Japan for instance. Consequently, South Africa should expect that its future bidding for mega sports events will be highly contested as other African states like Nigeria and Ethiopia will seek to use these events to signal their own arrival in the world stage. Therefore, South Africa’s ability to compete internationally under the African banner will have to contest with other African states who will themselves be claiming to underscore an emancipatory agenda for Africa.

[1] Olivier, G. (2003), Is Thabo Mbeki Africa’s saviour? International Affairs79(4), p. 815 (815–828).

[2] Mbeki, T. (2004), Presentation to the FIFA Executive Committee on South Africa’s bid for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, African National Congress, Pretoria, South Africa, retrieved March 12, 2010 from http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mbeki/2004/tm0514.html

[3] Schoeman, M. (2000), South Africa as an emerging middle power, African Security Review 9(3): 47–58.

[4] Barber, J. (2004), Mandela’s world: The international dimension of South African’s political revolution 1990–99, Cape Town, South Africa: David Philip.

[5] Habib, A. (2008), South Africa’s foreign policy: Hegemonic aspirations, neoliberal orientations and global transformations, a paper presented at the Regional Powers Network conference at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, Germany, Sept. 15–16 2008, quote from p. 3

[6] Black, D. (2007), The symbolic politics of sport mega-events: 2010 in comparative perspective, Politikon 34(3), first quote from p. 263, second quote from p. 262 (261–276).

[7] Gumede, W. M. (2005), Thabo Mbeki and the battle for the soul of the ANC, Cape Town, South Africa: Zebra Press, p. 33.

[8] Olivier (2003), op. cit., p. 815.

[9] Van der Merwe, J. (2007), Political analysis of South Africa’s hosting of the rugby and cricket World Cups: Lessons for the 2010 football World Cup and beyond? Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies 34(1), p. 75 (67–81).

[10] Mandela, N. (1993), South Africa’s future foreign policy, Foreign Affairs 72(5).

[11] Department of Foreign Affairs South Africa, white paper on South African participation in international peace missions, approved by the Cabinet on Oct. 21, 1998, tabled to the Parliament on Feb. 24, 1999; Barber (2004), op. cit.; Nathan, L. (March, 2005), Consistency and inconsistencies in South African foreign policy, International Affairs 81(2): 361–372, doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2005.00455.x; Bischoff, P. (2006), Towards a foreign peacekeeping commitment: South Africa approach to conflict resolution in Africa, chapter ten in W. Carlsnaes & P. Nel (Eds.), In full flight: South African foreign policy after Apartheid, Pretoria, South Africa: Institute for Global Dialogue.

[12] Nathan (2005), op. cit.; Olivier (2003), op. cit.

[13] Ibid., pp. 815–816; Vale, P., & Maseko, S. (2002), South Africa and the African renaissance, International Affairs 74(2): 271–287, doi: 10.1111/1468-2346.00016; Habib (2008), op. cit., quote from p. 4.

[14] Mbeki, T. (2002), Africa, define yourself. Cape Town, South Africa: Mafube, p. 72.

[15] Cornelissen, S. (2004), It’s Africa’s Turn! The narratives and legitimations surrounding the Moroccan and South African bids for the 2006 and 2010 FIFA finals, Third World Quarterly 25(7): 1293–1309; Van der Merwe (2007), op. cit., quote from p. 2

[16] Cornelissen (2004), op. cit.

[17] Gordhan (2010), author add publication data

[18] Cornelissen (2004), op. cit., first quote from p. 1294, second from 113.

[19] Van der Merwe , J. (2010), The road to Africa: South Africa’s hosting of the “African” World Cup, in Perspectives: Political analysis and commentary from Southern Africa, Cape Town, South Africa: Heinrich Böll Stiftung, quotes from p. 6.

[20] Cornelissen (2004), op. cit., quote from p. 1303.

[21] Cornelissen, S., & Swart, K. (2006), The 2010 football World Cup as a political construct: The challenge of making good on an African promise, Sociological Review 3, p. 109 (108–123).

[22] Van der Merwe (2007), op. cit., quotes from p. 72.

[23] Shoeman (2000), op. cit.

[24] Miller (2008; Bond (2004),

[25] Habib (2008), op. cit., quote from p. 8; Desai, A., & Vahed, G. (2010), World Cup 2010: Africa’s turn or the turn on Africa? Soccer & Society 11(1&2), p. 162 (154–167).

[26] Ibid., p. 160.

[27] Cornelissen & Swart (2006), quotes from p. 111 and then p. 116.

[28] Gumede (2005), op. cit.; Bond, P. (2005), U.S. empire and South African subimperialism, in L. Panitch & C. Leys (Eds.), The empire reloaded: Socialist register, New York: Monthly Review Press, 218–238.

[29] Gumede (2005), op. cit.

[30] White paper on South Africa’s foreign policy (2011), Building a better world: The diplomacy of Ubuntu, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=149749

[31] Cillier, J., & Handy, P. (2011), South Africa as a regional power: Multiple audiences, one foreign policy? Milan, Italy: Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), Quadeni di Relazion Internatiozionale, EGEA, pp. 56–68, quote on p. 63 in http://www.ispionline.it/it/documents/QRI14_cilliers_handy.pdf

[32] Cornelissen & Swart (2006), op. cit.

References

  1. Barber, J .2004. Mandela’s World. The International Dimension of South African’s Political Revolution 1990-99. Cape Town. David Philip.
  2. Bischoff, P. 2006.  Towards a foreign peacekeeping commitment: South Africa approach to conflict resolution in Africa in Carlsnaes, W & Nel, P (eds), In Full Flight : South African Foreign Policy after Apartheid, ( Institute for Global Dialogue), chapter 10.
  3. Bond, P. 2005. U. S. Empire and South African Subimperialism in Panitch, L. & Leys, C (eds ), The Empire Reloaded : Socialist Register, p. 218 – 238.
  4. Black, D. (2007). The symbolic politics of sport mega-events:2010 in comparative perspective. Politikon34(3), 261-276.
  5. Cillier, J, and Handy, P. (2011). South Africa as a regional power: multiple audiences, one foreign policy? ISPI: Quadeni di Relazion Internatiozionale. EGEA.
  6. Cornelissen, S. (2004). ‘It’s Africa’s Turn!’ The narratives and legitimations surrounding the Moroccan and South African bids for the 2006 and 2010 FIFA Finals. Third World Quarterly25(7), 1293-1309.
  7. Cornelissen, S., & Swart, K. (2006). The 2010 Football World Cup as a political construct: The challenge of making good on an African promise. Sociological Review3, 108-123.
  8. Desai, A., & Vahed, G. (2010). World Cup 2010: Africa’s turn or the turn on Africa?  Soccer & Society11(1&2), 154-167.
  9. Department of Foreign Affairs South Africa: White Paper on South African Participation in International Peace Missions. Approved by Cabinet October 21, 1998. Tabled to Parliament, February 24, 1999.
  10. Gumede, W. M. (2005). Thabo Mbeki and the battle for the soul of the ANC. Cape Town: Zebra Press.
  11. Habib, A. (2008). South Africa’s foreign policy: hegemonic aspirations, neoliberal orientations and global transformations. Paper presented at the Regional Powers Network conference at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, Germany, 15-16 September 2008.
  12. Mandela, N. (1993). South Africa’s Future Foreign Policy.  in Foreign Affairs, 72 , 5.
  13. Mbeki, T. (2002). Africa define yourself. Cape Town, South Africa: Mafube.
  14. Mbeki, T. (2004). Presentation to the Fifa Executive Committee on South Africa’s Bid for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Retrieved Mar. 12, 2010, from African National Congress, Pretoria, South Africa. Web site: http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mbeki/2004/tm0514.html.
  15. Nathan, L. . (2005). Consistency and inconsistencies in South African foreign policy.  International Affairs, 81, 2.
  16. Ndlovu, S. M. (2010). Sports as cultural diplomacy: The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa’s foreign policy. Soccer & Society11(1&2), 144-153.
  17. Olivier, G. (2003). Is Thabo Mbeki Africa’s saviour? International Affairs79(4), 815-828.
  18. Schoeman, M. (2000). South Africa as an Emerging Middle Power. African Security Review, Vol 9, No. 3.
  19. Vale, P and S. Maseko. 2002. South Africa and the African Renaissance. International Affairs, 74, 2.
  20. Van Der Merwe, J. (2007). Political analysis of South Africa’s hosting of the Rugby and Cricket World Cups: Lessons for the 2010 Football World Cup and beyond? Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies34(1), 67-81.
  21. Van der Merwe , J (2010) The road to Africa: South Africa’s hosting of the “African” World Cup”. In Perspectives: Political analysis and commentary from Southern Africa. Cape Town: Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
  22. White Paper on South Africa’s Foreign Policy. 2011. Building a better world: the diplomacy of Ubuntu. Department of International Relations and Cooperation. http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=149749

The Use of Communications Technology Among Commercial Sex Workers in Johannesburg: Influences of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The Use of Communications Technology Among Commercial Sex Workers in Johannesburg: Influences of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Andrew Carlson
Communication, Writing and the Arts
Metropolitan State University
andrew.carlson@metrostate.ed
u

Abstract

Prior to the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa, policy makers, public health experts, and sex workers themselves noted that decriminalization of commercial sex work prior to the event was unlikely.1[1] As the prospects for decriminalization faded, effective communication strategies among commercial sex workers became increasingly important, as they attempted to avoid interaction with law enforcement and capitalize on the economic opportunities presented by the influx of soccer fans. This paper presents the results of a qualitative research project conducted in July and August of 2009, in and around Soweto, South Africa. As part of a larger research project which included observation and interviews with 53 formal and informal entrepreneurs, this paper focuses on the experiences of seven commercial sex workers, four female and three male, with the use of communications technology as they considered the arrival of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Using a theoretical framework suggested by informal economy studies, economic sociology, and a postcolonial approach to diffusion of innovations research, the study utilized in-depth interviews and collection of secondary documents to draw conclusions about the connections micro-scale entrepreneurs, including commercial sex workers, possess and consider when making economic and social decisions. These connections, or networks, are strengthened or weakened by an individual’s ability to access and exploit communications technology. The paper reports on how participants’ experiences with communications technology such as cell phones and the Internet create and/or influence the communication strategies they use to recruit new clients and network with other sex workers for protection and information.

Introduction
The 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup (2010 FWC) in South Africa was hailed as an historic event that recast the position of the African continent and the country itself in the global economy and consciousness. Political rhetoric prior to the event reflected the intention to use the 2010 FWC to benefit all members of South African society, as suggested by then-Deputy and now-President Jacob Zuma on the eve of the bid committee’s trip to Zurich on May 10, 2004:

The benefits of this prospect to our nation would be so enormous that we would take the whole evening, outlining what contribution hosting the World Cup would make to our programme of alleviating poverty, creating jobs and generally in social upliftment…not to mention the name we would have carved for South Africa and Africa in the global world, including the impact on the eradication of stereotypes and Afropessimism.2[2]

Just prior to FIFA’s vote on the 2010 host for the World Cup, then-President Thabo Mbeki noted that “nothing could ever serve to energise our people to work for their and Africa’s upliftment than to integrate among the tasks of our Second Decade of Democracy and the African Renaissance our successful hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.”[3] The twin messages of a new (South) African identity and social upliftment proved irresistible to the FIFA selection committee and South Africa was awarded the hosting rights for the 2010 FWC on May 15, 2004.[4] Post-World Cup assessments of the event were equally rosy.[5]

The 2010 FIFA World Cup is generally defined in the literature as a mega-event, which refers to “one-time events that usually generate long-term profound impacts, both positive and negative, on host communities.”6 [6]Nations and cities compete fiercely for the right to host these events; in the case of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa were the finalists after two other bidders, Libya and Tunisia, dropped out. As the hosting country, South Africa welcomed local and overseas fans numbering in the millions and television viewers in the billions. One of the most important aspects of the South African government’s interest in securing the hosting rights for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was the hope that it would ameliorate poverty in the country and contribute to the country’s larger development agenda, which has been in place since the end of apartheid in 1994. Pillay and Bass note, “urban development and renewal has been identified by government as a key national imperative,” and as Matheson and Baade suggest, “no reason seems more compelling…[for hosting a mega-event]…than the promise of an economic windfall.”7[7]

Commercial sex workers in Johannesburg and elsewhere in South Africa were among those expecting to gain from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The 2006 World Cup in Germany gave researchers and policy makers the opportunity to assess the results of a proactively managed information campaign for sex workers and fans alike. Abbany noted that for the German World Cup, more than 40,000 sex workers from eastern Europe were expected to swell the ranks of German sex workers.[8] Reports such as these spurred fears that increased demand for sexual services during the 2006 FIFA World Cup would lead to the trafficking of as many as 40,000 women. These fears proved to be “unfounded and unrealistic,” as approximately 30 cases of trafficking were investigated and only five were linked to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  This has been partially attributed to the fact that prostitution is legal in Germany, and thus commercial sex workers there enjoy better legal coverage.[9] Results from the 2010 FWC suggest that fears of trafficking and a massive influx of commercial sex workers were also overblown, and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development noted that no trafficking had been reported during the 2010 World Cup.[10]

Unlike Germany, prostitution is illegal in South Africa, and commercial sex workers and advocates in South Africa realized that decriminalization of sex work prior to the start of the event was unlikely.[11] Commercial sex workers in South Africa have been politically active for years, especially around the issue of sex workers’ rights and health implications of decriminalization (see www.sweat.org.zawww.sanac.org.za for examples), but the arrival of the 2010 FIFA World Cup renewed interest in the issues surrounding sex work, especially in the media. Skinner noted that

While South Africa invests billions to prepare its infrastructure for the half-million visitors expected to attend, tens of thousands of children have become ensnared in sexual slavery, and those who profit from their abuse are also preparing for the tournament.[12]

Despite this grim description, Gould and Fick, in a detailed report on the commercial sex industry in Cape Town, reported that trafficking was significantly less prevalent than had been perceived and reported in the media; they noted that

…[what] we found is that while one of the conditions of trafficking (exploitation) is not uncommon in the sex work industry, the other features of trafficking are not commonly experienced. Deception is not common in recruitment, most sex workers live and work in the same city and have done so since they started the work, and most enter the work voluntarily…indeed, surprising as it was even to us, we found that there was very little trafficking into the sex work industry in Cape Town.[13]

The apparent contradictions between reports of trafficking by the IOM and other organizations and studies of commercial sex work suggest that more research into the practices of commercial sex workers is a necessary component of better informed policy making and ongoing debates regarding issues such as decriminalization. This study, as part of a larger study focused on small and micro-scale entrepreneurs primarily located in Soweto, contributes to this knowledge by reporting on the experiences of a small number of commercial sex workers in Gauteng province, specifically Johannesburg, with mobile communications and preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Using qualitative interviews and drawing on a number of secondary sources, the study reports on the habits and use of a variety of communications technologies among commercial sex workers, and how these practices contribute to sex workers’ ability to connect to other sex workers and their clients for protection, information, and monetary gain. Others have written about the effect of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the commercial sex work landscape in South Africa.[14]

Commercial Sex Work in South Africa: Review
There are a number of important studies outlining the nature of commercial sex work in South Africa. Gould and Fick outlined the division between street-based and brothel-based sex workers in Capetown, finding a total of 1,209 sex workers operating in these two divisions.[15] Fick found that the majority of commercial sex workers in Cape Town were female (93%) whose ages ranged from 18 – 54, although the preponderance were between 22 and 29 years of age.[16]
Wojcicki [17] conducted a study in Soweto and Hammerskrall among females who engage in sex-for-money exchanges, and noted that “commercial sex work was not a problem in these areas,” but that it was practiced in the downtown areas of Johannesburg such as Hillbrow. This article also suggests that the “sex-for-money exchange that transpires in the tavern is accepted on some level and not understood to be the same as commercial sex work.”[18] It is important to remember that in South Africa, the practice of commercial sex work varies from city to city; for example, sex work in Hillbrow tends to be more “hotel based” with a high proportion of migrants.[19]

Defining the difference between decriminalization and legalization is also an important aspect of the ongoing debate regarding commercial sex work and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Decriminalization refers to “scrapping all laws which specifically criminalise sex work” while legalization or legislation regarding commercial sex work would “involve the development of new laws dealing with sex work.”[20] The difference between these two positions is important; the implications of legalization include the ability of the government to control the movement and practices of commercial sex workers in ways that decriminalization does not. In addition, decriminalization will allow harsher, more specific penalties for those who force individuals into commercial sex work, for those who participate in or promote child prostitution, and for those involved in the trafficking of human beings.[21] Possible benefits of decriminalization could include increased ability of sex workers to negotiate condom use with clients, leading to greater efficacy of HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns; reduction of society’s stigmatization of sex workers, leading to less risky behavior on the part of commercial sex workers; and the possibility of sex workers being on the “front lines” of programs to prevent trafficking.[22] Finally, in considering the issue of decriminalization of commercial sex work in terms of the 2010 FWC, Bird and Donaldson interviewed a variety of stakeholders in Cape Town to frame the debate regarding legalization and decriminalization. Their findings suggested that these stakeholders, who included representatives from Cape Town city Health, Tourism, and Environment and Development departments, among others,  “mostly view[ed] pro-decriminalization in a positive light,” although they also reported that participants tended to conflate decriminalization with an increase in child prostitution and trafficking.[23]

The decriminalization debate and the attendant implications have been the focus of much of the ongoing discussion regarding commercial sex workers in South Africa. While this is a critical issue, commercial sex workers also deal with at least two of the same challenges that other small and micro-scale entrepreneurs do: how to find new customers, and how to maintain and strengthen their networks. Part of the solution to some of these problems lies in the use of mobile communication. It is obvious to even the most casual observer of South African society that mobile communication occupies a prominent place in most people’s lives. During the course of this study, South Africans had access to four cellular service providers: Cell-C, MTN, Virgin Mobile, and Vodacom, each of which was offering both pay-as-you go and contract arrangements for cell phone users. James and Versteeg suggest that as recently as 2005 mobile phone penetration in South Africa was as low as 36.4%. They note that “mobile phones are often divided among people,” suggesting that this seemingly low penetration rate should not be used to equate subscribers to users.[24] According to the International Telecommunications Union, however, in 2007 there were 97 cell phones per 100 inhabitants within South Africa.[25] What’s more, some industry analysts interviewed by Reuters suggest that there is a possibility of greater than 100% penetration rate, given that many people may own multiple SIM cards which move from phone to phone. The same Reuters article notes that penetration rates in 2007 were between 60 and 70% of South Africans.[27] For the purposes of this paper, it is adequate to acknowledge widespread use of the devices and the corresponding ability of participants to connect to clients and each other using mobile communications.

Mobile communication also includes access to the Internet, which is often achieved through tethering a mobile device to a laptop or with a cellular modem connected to a USB port on a laptop. In addition, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) include terrestrial wireless IP services such as iBurst and Neotel, as well as wired ADSL connections provided by Telkom. These are the most commonly mentioned ISPs among participants in this study; the ISP Directory (www.ispdirectory.co.za) notes 209 ISPs providing dial-up and ADSL services.  Smart or semi-smart phones also allow the user to access social networking sites like Facebook, engage in low-cost chatting through the MXit service, check email, and surf the web. Previous research in this area include Donner and Gitau, who have identified three categories of mobile internet users: those who access the Internet using a cell phone are categorized as mobile only, mobile primary, or PC primary, depending on their use of other devices.[27] Other scholars have focused their attention on the use of the devices among teens, students, and socially excluded populations. These studies have often included analysis of the use of MXit.[28] There is no literature at present, however, which discusses the role of mobile communication in the lives of commercial sex workers.

Mobile communication has the potential to reinforce or reconfigure the relationships between people, adding to individuals’ stores of social capital. Putnam defines the concept of social capital as “connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them.”[29] For commercial sex workers involved in informal economic activities, connections to members of peer networks could potentially have  more impact on entrepreneurial success than could an equivalent network of formal or informal entrepreneurs in other businesses, because these economic activities are less risky and not stigmatized. Whether the use of mobile communication contributes to social capital, and the results of this increased social capital on business practices, is therefore of concern in this study.

The ability to benefit from the potential of mobile communication in terms of social capital also depends on the gender of the user. Norris and Inglehart noted that women’s involvement in organizations, a measure of social capital, tends to be limited to those organizations that reflect “traditional female roles,” while men’s tends to be more closely connected with economic opportunity and efficiency.[30] For female sex workers, the utility of mobile communications may differ from that of male sex workers.

This article is focused on the experiences of a relatively small number of commercial sex workers who mainly do business in downtown Johannesburg. As part of a larger study which included more than 50 small and micro-scale entrepreneurs, my intention here is to shed light on the use of mobile communication technologies among commercial sex workers. The structural and cultural issues surrounding commercial sex work in South Africa, while always a moving target, have been and are continuing to be investigated by local and international researchers with strong connections to the industry. This paper is intended to supplement those studies by describing some of the characteristics and implications, especially on social capital, of the use of mobile communication among commercial sex workers in Johannesburg.

I began the study with several general research questions in mind, which were gradually refined as the research continued. Of key interest are the ways in which small and micro scale entrepreneurs, both formal and informal, understand the impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on their economic opportunities and challenges; how mobile communications contributes to developing and reinforcing networks among small and micro scale entrepreneurs interested in benefiting from the 2010 World Cup; and how the networks created by the use of mobile communications influence individual entrepreneurs’ decision making processes regarding the opportunities connected to the 2010 FWC and beyond. This paper is focused on the experiences of commercial sex workers prior to the 2010 FWC, with follow up research to be conducted after the event.

Methods
Participants and Setting
Prior to any fieldwork, the Institutional Review Board at Ohio University approved this study.  All participants were informed in advance of an interview of potential risks and benefits of the research, as well as their right to decline to respond to any questions or to terminate an interview at any time. In addition, participants were supplied with the researcher’s contact information so that they could request their contribution to the study be removed at any time after the interview. Participants were given a monetary token (R100, approximately $12 at the time of the study) as compensation for their time. Seven participants took part in formal, semi-structured interviews, which were later transcribed and analyzed using Atlas.ti qualitative data management software. In addition, I met informally with two participants and another researcher on a separate occasion. Interviews took place in locations such as coffee shops, pubs, or at the RHRU offices in downtown Johannesburg.

In order to recruit participants, I engaged a number of approaches. The most direct was to respond by phone to classified advertisements in one of the Johannesburg major dailies. This method proved mostly unsuccessful, as only one person, Paris, agreed to meet for a discussion. It did, however, yield a number of interesting insights into the use of communications among commercial sex workers. The classified section has an extensive list of advertisements for commercial sex workers. In addition, many of these advertisements mix a phone number with a web address, and some advertise other converged services, such as an interactive strip show on the customer’s cell phone or a “flirtatious” chat session. The ongoing convergence of mobile communication, merging voice communication and an Internet presence, allows commercial sex workers new opportunities to promote themselves and provide services to potential customers. One of the strategies I used when attempting to recruit participants by phone was to explain the research as succinctly as possible, and then move to asking about the individual’s experience with the 2009 Confederations Cup, which took place in the month of June. Recent radio programs had featured at least one discussion with a commercial sex worker and her experiences with the Confederations Cup. As a trial run for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Confederations Cup was expected to yield some insights into what would occur during the World Cup. Occasionally, this led to colorful responses, such as “the Confederations Cup was shit, the World Cup will be shit!” After the explanation and a few pleasantries, respondents generally politely declined to meet for an interview, and one or two simply cut the call. By the time I had given up on this method, I had called at least 20 numbers; many more remained on the page, but my poor success rate suggested I try another recruitment technique.

Other participants were recruited through contacts within the Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit (RHRU) at Wits University in Johannesburg. One individual, an artisan who was staying in Soweto and a participant in the larger study, introduced me to a commercial sex worker who worked in a downtown Johannesburg hotel. Other interviews were arranged by RHRU staff. I also conducted an informal discussion with a supplier, who provided some background into the issues facing commercial sex workers who operate in brothels. I was unable to gain permission from this individual to use our discussion in this article, but credit much of my (still limited) understanding of the industry to our conversation.

As subjects of media attention in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, some South African commercial sex workers had recently been “outed” to their families by careless journalists. While I was conducting this research, several participants reminded me that they had adopted the slogan “nothing about us without us” which has been most recently used in this context by Jurgens to promote the involvement of illegal drug users in HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns.[31] The slogan also has a long history with the international disability movement to promote meaningful, participatory policy making for those with disabilities. In a research project such as this one, it reminds the researcher to include participants in the research agenda and to ensure that the final result adequately conveys the experiences of participants. I attempt in this paper to present participants’ experiences as accurately as possible, within the limitations of my own experiences as a temporary resident of South Africa.

Participants operated in a variety of locations around Johannesburg, and they each had a different strategy for locating their business activities. While Gould and Fick describe the characteristics of brothel-based and street based sex workers, the participants in this study also included those who I characterize as entirely mobile, with no favored location, and those who operated in downtown Johannesburg hotels, which do not exactly fit into Gould and Ficks’ description of a brothel.[32] Male sex workers do work on the street, but the more covert nature of male sex work means that they are highly reliant on networks and communication for business arrangements which may take place at a location of the client’s choosing. In addition, one participant did business at a suburban house. This house did not operate exactly as a brothel, but more as a boarding house. One of the participants, Paris, told me that the house in which she worked was shared by a changing number of occupants, but at the time of our discussion, there were only two who paid the R250 daily fee for the use of a room, which included sleeping and any other use of the house. Occupants operate independently and are free to come and go as they desire, as long as the daily fee is paid. Should she decide to take a break from her work, Paris is free to do so, depending on her financial situation. She told me “I take like, long breaks…I didn’t work, like maybe 5 months break, or two months.”

Of the seven commercial sex workers who participated in this study, six are South African, and one is a foreign national from Zimbabwe. Three are male and four female. Pseudonyms suggested by participants have been used, which are shown in table 1. Results also include input from several other entrepreneurs from the larger study who contributed to the decriminalization debate and the use of mobile communications. Interviews were conducted in English; there was the occasional sentence or phrase in Afrikaans or isiZulu which I translated to the best of my ability.

Table 1: Pseudonyms and Location Preference

Pseudonym

Location Preference

Paris

Suburban House

Zake

Non-located

Zanele

Street

Sibusisiwe

Hotel

Busi

Street

Msizi

Non-located

Jacob

Non-located

Data Analysis
Recordings were transcribed and subject to textual analysis using Atlas.ti qualitative management software. Because this paper is part of a larger project which includes more than 50 interviews and at least 1000 pages of transcription, the use of such software has allowed me to keep track of thousands of individual quotations from participants, which I have coded, categorized, and thematized. The software allows me to group, search, and filter quotations and codes according to participants, which is this case allows me to focus on the experiences of commercial sex workers. One of the benefits to the use of software for data analysis is that the connection to quotations is always maintained. Selecting a specific code allows the researcher to display each of the quotations connected to it, thus reinforcing the connection to the participants’ words. As explained by Glaser and Strauss, coding requires the researcher to perform several iterations on the same data.[33]  For me, this meant coding several interviews, examining the codes I had created, refining the codes as necessary, and then returning to the previously coded interviews to check the fit of the refined codes with the selected quotations.

Validity and Reflexivity
Validity refers to the accuracy of the researcher’s interpretations of the data. As the research instrument, the researcher bears the load not only of collecting data that can be used to create a right interpretation of the behavior of research participants,[34] but is also required to constantly reflexively asses their position in the process in order to develop this “right interpretation.” Simply having a large collection of transcribed interviews does not necessarily increase the “truth value” of the research. With the realization that this project involves what is essentially textual analysis of more than 1000 pages of interviews and field notes, I am aware that more than one interpretation of the data exists. I also contend that the number of reasonable interpretations is limited, rather than infinite, and I have used strategies such as member checking and triangulation with observation and secondary document analysis to assess that validity of my interpretations. In conducting research in the digital age, the researcher is not limited to “parachuting in,” collecting his data, and leaving to form his own interpretation of events. Instead, today’s qualitative researcher has the responsibility to continually check the results of his interpretation with members of the community with whom he has created the data. For me, this is a process of contacting participants and key informants through email, Facebook, and telephone.

When I use quotes from participants, I generally present them as they occurred in our conversation. When appropriate, I have added words to clarify or removed my own question, if it is not necessary to the meaning of the quote. I normally remove filler words such as “um,” “ah,” and “like.” Words added to clarify meaning are marked with brackets, and the use of ellipsis indicates that I have removed a word or phrase from myself or another interviewer. The choice of what quotes to use is dictated by my interpretation of the way in which the quotation fits into the overall purpose of the paper, which is to explain the use of mobile communication, its relationship with the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the effect of its use of participants’ stores of social capital.

Data
Mobile communication among participants described in this article has several characteristics which are distinct from those who are not involved in commercial sex work. First, participants use multiple devices or SIM cards to maintain a strict separation between their work and personal lives. Five of the seven participants had either multiple handsets or multiple SIM cards which they shared with a single handset. One of the participants who presently used one handset was planning to purchase another one as soon as her finances allowed. When asked about how many phones she has, Paris answers simply that “I have, I do have two phones. And I use the other one for my personal stuff, but at the moment, I’m using this like for both business and personal…and the other one is for business.” In order to maintain the separation between work and personal lives, Paris noted that she always turns off her phones when she is with a client. Busi describes her need for two phones as follows:

Two, I have two…because, I have a lot of clients, like, during the day from now, and my phone can ring anytime, right now, that the client needs me. He will come to a hotel, or, in his office.
Researcher: So that’s how you keep it separate.
Busi: Yes, because sometimes my brother can call me and he’ll be like, joking, and then I’ll be thinking that I’m talking to a client, when I’m talking to my brother.

Busi’s family, who are in KwaZulu-Natal, believe she is a waitress in Johannesburg. Were they to find out that she is a commercial sex worker, Busi notes that her mother “will even have a heart attack.”

While every entrepreneur in the study which includes these participants uses mobile communication to communicate with clients, for some commercial sex workers, the cell phone is either the only or the most critical tool in their marketing. Jacob describes his use of mobile communication in the following passage:

My main approach, my friend, has been the cell phone. With my cell phone I do wonders, my friend. I connect, even there, on the net, I connect. And once you can have clients, like 10, they will, they will remain in that circle with you for a long time. Because you know, once I have the number for this, contact number for this one, the business can go on, long and long, years and years, with the same person. Depending on your, how you satisfy the person, how you do a business with them. So, I’ve got that level number of people who I know, when I want to do something, they can always contact me, then I do it with them.
Researcher: So tell me about that, the cell phone. Exactly how have you used it to get yourself out there?
Jacob: I pick up things from the computer, my friends phone me, I’ve got, I had a phone that has got Internet, and email and everything…so, I communicate, we arrange to meet somewhere, even in the newspapers in South Africa, you can check inside, there are some columns there where you can, have contact with somebody that, is, you even know, then, you can, the relationship can start. Even business can start that way. But, things have been easy with the net, recently, and with my phone.

The nature of male sex work also relies on the networks created by mobile devices, as suggested by Jacob:

… the other thing is that it’s under cover. You cannot pick it up easily in the society, that there are guys, who are doing that…you’ll never know us. We are picked up via the phone…we don’t cruise the street and look for clients. Our business is telephonical, most of the time. And wherever he goes, where he is going, we know we’re gonna pick up, our, our clients, and clients know where to pick us up. So, the society does not know more about it but it’s existing, plus/minus, 40%, of it, in the vicinity here.

Jacob’s experience with mobile communication includes access to the Internet through his mobile device, but this experience is not typical for all participants. Although mobile communication is an important tool for building and maintaining connections with clients, some expressed reluctance to share this information, or that they only shared it with the most important clients. For example, Sibusisiwe said,

Well, I’m that type of girl, you know. You get different girls, you know, the girls who use their phones, as a, a way of business. Well, I wouldn’t want to get personal with my clients. So I never give them a phone number…I do those, those ones which are valuable. You get what I am saying? They give me money, and stuff like that. But not everyone. You get those girls who work, only with their phones, and maybe on the computer and something like that. But I’m not that girl, you get what I’m saying?

One aspect of mobile communication which seems to maintain the somewhat impersonal nature of communication between commercial sex workers and their clients is the use of SMS messaging. Sibusisiwe, who is reluctant to share her number with clients, nonetheless reports using SMS to contact them:

Researcher: To your regulars, you SMS them?
Sibusisiwe: Yeah, they SMS me, I SMS them, yeah.
Researcher: …let’s say you were just having a slow week or, slow couple of days, do you get in touch with someone?
Sibusisiwe: Yeah. You see, it’s all about, um, I mean, thank God they made the phone. You know, the cell phone, because right now, the person can just get me at any place.

Another way in which participants use the mobile device to interact with clients is to receive airtime from them. In the present South African cellular marketplace, the party who places the call bears the entire cost of the call; this is known as the Calling Party Pays (CPP) system. Through this system, one can transfer credit to another SIM card in a remote handset; Busi and Zanele report that this is one benefit they often receive from their regular clients:

Busi: And some of the clients they will send you airtime. Like, top 5, top 10.
Zanele: You call them, can you buy me airtime?
Busi: …ask for airtime, they send it.
Zanele: And then they send the airtime.

Mobile communications also function as a way for commercial sex workers use the devices to share information amongst themselves. Msizi describes one aspect of this communication:

We communicate within ourselves for our safety and protection…so that, if there is a violent client in Yeoville, I can inform my, fellow sex workers in Braamfontein, that hey, there is this guy who’s driving in this car, this car certain number plate, registration number is this and this, don’t go out with that guy, you know? So that, ah, you know, we cannot be exposed to violence and exploitation of clients.

In addition to using SMS messages to contact clients, female sex workers who work on the street suggested that using SMS is a more secure way to communicate within their network. My discussion with Zanele and Busi, who often work on the street together, revealed the following:

Researcher: Do you SMS, or do you phone; if it was, like, 2 in the morning, would you send her an SMS, or would you phone her?
Busi: …mostly we do SMS, because it’s dangerous to pick up the phone at night.
Zanele: Yeah.
Busi: You can kind of hide.
Researcher: So if you were to look at your SMSs, would they be mostly to other sex workers, or to clients, or, mixed?
Zanele: To sex workers.
Busi: Mostly, ah, sex workers and clients both. Both. Because we are so connected. We are working, we are working in Sandton, and they are, we have friends downtown, we have friends here in Hillbrow because, sometimes we work here in Hillbrow.

Using SMS is a critical component of commercial sex workers’ communication strategy and allows them to not only maintain contact with clients but to share information among members of their own networks.

In addition to using a cellular handset to access the Internet, participants also use a PC either at home or in an Internet café for this purpose. While some participants reported high proficiency with these devices, others either used it minimally or not at all. For example, when I asked Zake how often he checked email, he reported that he had a computer at home that is his “my personal one…I use it to run the business. You know, it’s in my home.” Msizi also noted that one could only use a personal computer at home for business, because he may email adult content to potential clients. He also noted that during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, they would coordinate with sex workers from other countries:

Emails, we are sending each other emails, telling them the environment here, how is it going to happen, what will be happening. So we know we are also having our people who will be coming, who are doing the same business that we will be doing…and they will gonna be easy for us, to, get to the people from their countries, like my friends in Argentina, when they come here with the Argentinean, it will be a client exchange. It’s gonna be easy for us, it’s a client exchange, and client interaction. They tell me how to approach the Argentinean people, and I tell them also how to approach our people you know?

Whether or not this type of client exchange took place as anticipated is not clear. Data from the time period of the 2010 FWC suggests, however, that there was no significant influx of foreign sex workers, and that most female sex workers saw the same number of clients during the World Cup as before.[35] Other research found that “there were not significantly more clients seen per sex worker during the World Cup period” although “a proportion of the local clients of sex workers who advertise in newspapers may have been temporarily replaced by foreign clients during the Soccer World Cup.”[36] These findings suggest that while commercial sex workers may have seen more foreign clients during the 2010 FIFA World Cup than they typically do, the financial results of the event were likely not significant enough to allow sex workers to leave the profession, as Paris suggested she wanted to do after the event.
Clearly, email and the Internet play a large role in these participants’ arrangements with clients and other sex workers. Paris also used the Internet for self-promotion and communication with friends via Facebook and email; however, in her case, arrangements with clients were generally made telephonically rather than via email. She reported that her clients “always call…they see my ad on the Internet, and they just call.” Busi reported not using email; Zanele noted that she did use it for family but nor for making arrangement with clients.  When I asked Zanele whether she would use the Internet for advertising, she emphatically replied “no, no, no, no, no.” Busi said that when she started using email she would use it to communicate with clients from overseas.

I can, use it, but, with like, you are saying, with the client maybe, outside from South Africa, the client that I’ve met before, they might connect, with network, by ah, email…then maybe, yeah. OK.

Sibusisiwe also suggested that she was “computer illiterate.”  While she had a contact who was showing her how to use the Internet and was setting up an online profile for her, she was unsure about whether the increased exposure was a good idea.

Well, I was, ah, learning something, there’s a guy up here who’s teaching me that day, I will get a laptop soon. I don’t know, hopefully I will learn that stuff…quickly. It’s not hard. It’s not ah, you know. It’s just, something that you can do.
Researcher: Mm hmm. Do you use the computer for anything else besides email, surfing the web? Does it, I mean, does it contribute to the business at all?
Sibusisiwe: Well, yeah, it does. Well, I’ve got this guy, who, ah, you know, who’s putting my, my profile, and everything. But I hate it because I wouldn’t want that, you know, he he.

While all participants mentioned a sharp division that they carefully preserved between their personal and work lives, Sibusisiwe and Zanele were the only participants who mentioned an unwillingness to use the Internet in the form of email or other web promotion to recruit new clients. This was partially due to the perceived risk that they would be found out by family members, and in addition, to what I interpret as an understanding of the Internet as a public place in which privacy is difficult to preserve.

Discussion
Participants use mobile communication to connect to clients, to facilitate the division between their personal and work lives, and to share information within their own networks. The 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the corresponding debate about decriminalization, has had a number of effects on commercial sex workers perceptions of the benefits from the event. While all mentioned that the Confederations Cup had been a disappointment in terms of increased profits, they also all believed that the 2010 FWC would be a financial windfall. Paris, laughing, said “I think we’re gonna make a lot of money.” When I asked Sibusisiwe why she thought the 2010 FWC would be a success, she said, “people are looking forward, to it. Because everyone will be coming inside this country, I mean people, you know, I mean, come on now, people are getting ready for it.” Busi and Zanele expressed cautious optimism but noted that their success depended on the government.  Busi said “government, should give us a chance, because, there are a lot of sex workers, who will come, from outside, from the States, from China, wherever. And when they come here, they will get an opportunity, to take the pound, from outside, from us.”

The perception of increased competition, not only during the 2010 FWC, is an important aspect of sex work in Johannesburg. Wojcicki and Malala reported that the competition between female sex workers in Hillbrow hotels was so fierce that women sometimes physically threatened and beat up other women and marketed themselves to clients by offering unprotected sex.[37] The belief that foreign prostitutes will increase competition during the 2010 FWC is one of the arguments made for decriminalization by some participants. Male sex workers, on the other hand, did not mention competition from foreign sex workers and were in fact positively anticipating the opportunities connected to their ability to network with them. Their familiarity with the Internet and ability to develop connections to both clients and other sex workers overseas informed their perception of the opportunities connected to the event.

In general, male sex workers perceptions of personal safety in their working lives are much more positive than those of female sex workers, especially those who prefer to work on the street. Female sex workers reported police harassment, rape, and detention without charge, in addition to experiencing violence at the hands of clients. They also reported being more afraid than male sex workers regarding their health, as they all mentioned that condoms break and accidents happen. Male sex workers, by contrast, report that the hidden nature of their work makes it unlikely for clients to harass them, that the police are unaware of male sex work or squeamish about arresting them, and that their use of “Rough Rider” condoms protects them from diseases. In terms of their use of mobile communication, they reported engaging in an “each one, teach one” campaign to spread the word among sex workers of both genders about the utility of mobile communications for proactively sharing information about dangerous clients or police harassment. Msizi explained this campaign during our discussion:

Researcher: And this, this network that you use to help each other out, I mean, how well established is it, I mean, does everybody use it, does only a few people know about it?
Msizi: It’s few people but eh, the, we are using the thing that each one teach one, each one, teach one. Since we have undergone this, Population Council, they have trained us, mentally for a lot of things, how to protect each other, so we are doing this on SMS bundles, you know SMS bundles, sending the SMS bundles. If something is happening that side, I say hey, the police are raiding there, it doesn’t only help us male sex workers. It also helps our sisters, female sex workers, we also, we do also inform them. If I’m in a certain spot and the police are raiding for sex workers, I can send a message on that side, whereby they have not yet arrived there, to let them be alerted, that hey, on this side, the, the police are coming.

Using SMS bundles to communicate among sex workers of all genders is an appropriate use of technology, given that nearly everyone in South Africa has at least one cell phone and that sex workers have mentioned that this is an effective communication technique for sharing information.

While all participants are aware of the financial possibilities connected to the 2010 FWC, not all take an interest in the decriminalization debate. For Paris, who works from a house in the suburbs, whether sex work is decriminalized or not makes no difference to her. She said “legal, illegal, we’ll still make our money, so…” Zake also noted that “I don’t think it’s a big idea, about decriminalization. Because ah, we do things safe, safe, it’s very safe… I have to make my business very good and smooth and everything, and to do everything, clean.” Whether a sex worker will be interested in decriminalization depends to some extent to where they do business. For those on the street, like Busi and Zanele, decriminalization is a critical issue; for Sibusisiwe, who works in a hotel, decriminalization or legalization would help to reduce the level of violence surrounding commercial sex work:

I think it’s perfect. You legalize people, you know. Because ah, you don’t, there will be too much chaos…and a lot of people will be, I mean, there will be a lot of violence and that type of, you know, a lot. You get what I’m saying. If, they, they legalize, yeah, that can just be, you know…because people will be trying to get money whichever way, girls, I mean, I mean, there will be plenty of girls doing this shit.

Msizi expressed the idea of decriminalization as an opportunity to benefit from the 2010 FWC, noting that “there are some countries whereby it’s legal, and those people are using the opportunities on coming to big events like this in our country, to make those dollars, rands, and pounds. And, World Cup must also, and Confederations Cup, benefit us.”

For the participants in this study, the tension between competition and opportunities connected to the 2010 FWC, while perhaps mainly attributable to issues of gender, also followed those who used the Internet for promotion and communication (Zake, Msizi, Jacob, and Paris) and those who did not (Busi, Zanele, and Sibusisiwe). The experiences of these seven participants suggest that the increased social capital that comes from the use of these technologies, particularly the Internet and especially in terms of connections to potential clients overseas, is related to individuals’ ability to anticipate and plan more adequately for mega-events like the 2010 FWC. This is not to diminish the value of the use of mobile communication for SMS or voice communication, which play an important role in sharing information and raising awareness among commercial sex workers, as shown in the “each one, teach one” campaign. The use of these techniques which target the most accessible media, however, do not increase members’ ability to use other technologies such as the Internet. While some participants report taking part in Internet or computer classes, considering how to use these technologies within the network of commercial sex workers, either through mobile devices or PCs, to share some of the same information they now share via SMS, would contribute significantly to their ability to use the technology for networking with clients on a global scale and allow them to benefit from an increasingly smaller world. While “there was a small increase in the number of female sex workers who advertised online and in newspapers” (Richter & Delva, 2010, p. 5), more research is needed to determine the relationship between online advertising and international clientele for CSWs.
Conclusions
The 2010 FIFA World Cup has had significant effects on commercial sex workers’ use of mobile communications. Participants in this study discussed greater use of the Internet and email to connect to sex workers in other countries, increased awareness of the implications of decriminalization on their business during the 2010 FWC, and the possible negative effects of increased competition during the event. I argue that those sex workers who make use of the Internet for promotion and communication with other sex workers and clients outside South Africa were more likely to perceive greater opportunities connected to the 2010 FWC, despite the challenges of competition and a government unwilling to decriminalize their profession before the event. In addition, I suggest that while networks based on the most accessible technology are effective at sharing crucial information with members, addressing the technology gap within the network will assist those who do not use technologies (such as the Internet or email) to build their skills and interact more effectively with those outside their network, allowing them to benefit from increased opportunities to connect to overseas clients. It seems clear from research conducted after the event that the 2010 FIFA World Cup did not contribute significantly to those CSWs interviewed for this paper; perhaps the substitution of overseas clients for local clients resulted in a less-than-hoped-for overall economic result.

This study has several limitations and opportunities for further research. A follow-up study should include additional participants, as the number of commercial sex workers with whom I had discussions was perhaps inadequate to represent other, unanticipated outcomes. Ideally, such a study would also include increased focus on the ways in which participants use mobile devices to access the Internet and how mobile communication can contribute to building participants’ skills, especially for the Internet and other social media. Further study should also continue the comparison between those who use the Internet for promotion and communication and those who do not to determine whether these issues continue to impact participants’ perceptions of competition and challenges as mobile devices become increasingly connected to the Internet. Although the 201 FIFA World Cup was an interesting event with significant impacts a number of segments for South African society, it appears that for commercial sex workers, it was not the anticipated boom described by some in this paper. Therefore, continued study of the use of mobile communication by CSWs in South African cities should yield useful data on the relationship between the use of online technologies and the perception of opportunities, either to connect to new clients or for the purposes of empowerment.

[1]IRIN (2009, Dec. 8), South Africa: Safer sex for soccer fans and sex workers,  http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=87370

[2] Kohler, S. (2004, May 10), Zuma: 2010 World Cup Bid farewell banquet, ¶7 of http://www.polity.org.za/article/zuma-2010-world-cup-bid-farewell-banquet-10052004-2004-05-10

[3] The Presidency (2004, May 14), Mbeki: Presentation to FIFA on SA’s bid for 2010 soccer World Cup, ¶24 of http://www.polity.org.za/article/mbeki-presentation-to-fifa-on-sas-bid-for-2010-soccer-world-cup-14052004-2004-05-14

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[10] Richter, M., Chersich, M., Ndlovu, D., Maritz, G., Temmerman, M., & Sisonke (organization) (2010), Sex work and the 2010 Soccer World Cup: Violation of sex worker human rights persists, unpublished manuscript; Portfolio Committee on Justice (2010, Aug. 3), World Cup dedicated courts—Human trafficking during the 2010 World Cup: Department of Justice Briefing, retrieved Dec. 5, 2011 from http://www.pmg.org.za/report/20100803-department-justice-constitutional-development-dedicated-courts-conven

[11] IRIN (2009), op. cit.

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[13] Gould, C., & Fick, N. (2008), Selling sex in Cape Town,Institute for Security Studies, quote from p. 6, http://www.iss.co.za

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[15] Gould & Fick (2008), op. cit., p. 33.

[16] Fick, N. (2005), Demographic survey, unpublished fact sheet, ¶5, Cape Town: SWEAT.

[17] Wojcicki, J. M. (2000)

[18] Wojcicki, J. M. (2000), quotes are from p. 348 and then p. 346..

[19] Marlise Richter, personal communication, April 28, 2010.

[20] Sisonke (organization), (n.d.), Sisonke manual, quotes are from p. 11, www.sweat.org.za

[21] Gould & Fick (2008), op. cit.

[22] Lalu, V. (2007), Considering decriminalization of sex work as a health issue in South Africa: The experience of SWEAT, http://www.kit.nl/net/KIT_Publicaties_output/ShowFile2.aspx?e=1280 ; Wojcicki, J. M., & Malala, J. (2001), Condom use, power, and HIV/AIDS risk: Sex-workers bargain for survival in Hillbrow/Joubert Park/Berea, Johannesburg, Social Science & Medicine 53(1), 99–121.

[23] Bird, R., & Donaldson, R. (2009), Sex, sun, soccer:Stakeholder-opinions on the sex industry in Cape Town in anticipation of the 2010 FIFA soccer World Cup, Urban Forum 20(1), p. 44 (33–46).

[24] James, J., & Versteeg, M. (2007), Mobile phones in Africa: How much do we really know? Social Indicators Research 84(1), p. 118 (117–126).

[25] International Telecommunications Union (2007), ITU World Telecommunications/ICT Indicators Database, retrieved February 28, 2009 from http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ICTEYE/Indicators/Indicators.aspx#

[26] Reuters (2007, March 14 ), S. African cell phone penetration could double—MTN, Reuters        UK, http://uk.reuters.com/article/UK_SMALLCAPSRPT/idUKL1462495220070314

[27] . Donner, J., & Gitau, S. (2009), New paths: Exploring mobile-centric internet use in South Africa, pre-conference proceedings at the International Communication Association conference, http://lirneasia.net/2009/05/mobile20beyond-voice-ica-pre-conference-papers-for-download/

[28] Bosch, T. (2008), Wots ur ASLR? Adolescent girls’ use of MXit in Cape Town, Commonwealth Journal of Youth Studies 6(2):; Chigona, W., Kamkwenda, G., & Saffia Manjoo, S. (2008), The uses and gratifications of mobile internet among the South African students, South African Journal of Information Management 10(3): Chigona, W., Beukes, D., Vally,  J., &  Tanner, M. (2009), Can mobile internet help alleviate social exclusion  in developing countries? Electronic  Journal of  Information Systems in Developing Countries 36(7): 1–16.

[29] Putnam, R. (2000), Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community, New York: Simon & Schuster, p. 19.

[30] Norris, P., & Inglehart, R. (2006), Gendering social capital: Bowling in women’s leagues, in B. O’Neill & E. Gidengil (Eds.), Gender and social capital, New York: Routledge, p. 74 (73–98).

[31] Jurgens, R. (2008), Nothing about us without us—Greater, meaningful involvement of people who use illegal drugs: A public health, ethical, and human rights imperative (international edition), Toronto, Ontario: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Open Society Institute, http://www.aidslaw.ca/publications/interfaces/downloadFile.php?ref=1314

[32] Gould & Fick (2008), op. cit.

[33] Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967), Discovery of grounded theory, Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.

[34] Lindlof, T., & Taylor, B. (2002), Qualitative communication research methods (2nd Ed.), Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, p. 240.

[35] Richter et al. (2010), op. cit.

[36] Richter & Delva (2010), op. cit., p. 5.

[37] Wojcicki & Malala (2001), op. cit.

References

  1. 2010safwc. (n.d.). 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://www.2010safwc.com/.
  2. Abbany, Z. (2006, June 1). Soccer, sex workers and the single male. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved from www.dw-world.de.
  3. Bird, R., & Donaldson, R. (2009). “Sex, sun, soccer”:Stakeholder-opinions on the sex industry in Cape Town in anticipation of the 2010 FIFA soccer World Cup. Urban Forum 20(1), 33-46.
  4. Bosch, T. (2008). Wots ur ASLR? Adolescent girls’ use of MXit in Cape Town. Commonwealth Journal of Youth Studies, 6(2).
  5. Chigona, W., Beukes, D., Vally,  J., &  Tanner, M. (2009). Can mobile internet help alleviate social exclusion  in developing  countries? Electronic  Journal of  Information Systems  in Developing Countries, 36(7), 1-16.
  6. Chigona, W., Kamkwenda, G., & Saffia Manjoo, S. (2008). The uses and gratifications of mobile internet  among  the  South  African  students.  South  African  Journal  of  Information Management 10(3).
  7. Donner, J., and Gitau, S. (2009). New paths: Exploring mobile-centric internet use in South Africa. Pre-conference proceedings at the International Communication Association conference. Retrieved from http://lirneasia.net/2009/05/mobile20beyond-voice-ica-pre-conference-papers-for-download/
  8. Fick, N 2005. ‘Demographic survey’. Unpublished fact sheet. Cape Town: SWEAT.
  9. FIFA (2010). South Africa’s FIFA World Cup – A success at home and abroad [online]. 23 September. Available at http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/southafrica2010/organisation/media/newsid=1305767/index.html. (Accessed December 5, 2011).
  10. Glaser, B. G. and Strauss, A. L. (1967). Discovery of grounded theory. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.
    Gould, C., and Fick, N. (2008). Selling sex in Cape Town. Institute for Security Studies. Retrieved from http://www.iss.co.za.
  11. Hennig, J., Craggs, S., Laczko, F., & Larsson, F. (2006). Trafficking in human beings and the 2006 World Cup in Germany. (IOM White paper). Retrieved from http://www.lastradainternational.org/lsidocs/523%20Trafficking%20and%20the%20World%20Cup%20(IOM).pdf

  12. International Telecommunications Union (2007). ITU World Telecommunications/ICT Indicators Database. Retrieved February 28, 2009, from http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ICTEYE/Indicators/Indicators.aspx#.
    IRIN. (2009, December 8). South Africa: Safer sex for soccer fans and sex workers. Retrieved from http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=87370.
  13. James, J., and Versteeg, M. (2007). Mobile phones in Africa: How much do we really know? Social Indicators Research 84(1), 117-126.
  14. Johwa, W. (2010). World Cup was a success – Zuma [Online]. Available at http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=114514. (Accessed December 5, 2011).
  15. Jurgens, R. (2008). “Nothing about us without us” — Greater, meaningful involvement of people who use illegal drugs: A public health, ethical, and human rights imperative (international edition). Toronto: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Open Society Institute. Retrieved from http://www.aidslaw.ca/publications/interfaces/downloadFile.php?ref=1314.
  16. Kim, H. J, Gursoy, D., & Lee, S-B. (2006). The impact of the 2002 World Cup on South Korea: comparisons of pre- and post-games. Tourism Management 27(1), 86-96.
  17. Kohler, S. (2004, May 10). Zuma: 2010 World Cup Bid farewell banquet. Retrieved from
  18. ttp://www.polity.org.za/article/zuma-2010-world-cup-bid-farewell-banquet-10052004-2004-05-10.
  19. Lalu, V. (2007). Considering decriminalization of sex work as a health issue in South Africa: The experience of SWEAT. Retrieved from http://www.kit.nl/net/KIT_Publicaties_output/ShowFile2.aspx?e=1280
  20. Lindlof, T., & Taylor, B. (2002). Qualitative communication research methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  21. Matheson, V. A. & Baade, R. A. (2004). Mega-sporting events in developing nations: playing the way to prosperity? The South African Journal of Economics 72(5), 1085 – 1096.
  22. Norris, P., & Inglehart, R. (2006). Gendering social capital: Bowling in women’s leagues. In B. O’Neill & E. Gidengil (Eds.), Gender and social capital (pp. 73 – 98). New York: Routledge.
  23. Pillay, U., and Bass, O. (2009). Mega-events as a response to poverty reduction: the 2010 FIFA World Cup and its urban development implications. Urban Forum 19(2), 329-346.
  24. Portfolio Committee on Justice (2010). World Cup dedicated courts. Human trafficking during the 2010 World Cup: Department of Justice Briefing, 3 August. Available at http://www.pmg.org.za/report/20100803-department-justice-constitutional-development-dedicated-courts-conven. Accessed December 5, 2011.
  25. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  26. Reuters (2007, Mar. 14). S. African cell phone penetration could double – MTN. Reuters UK. Retrieved from http://uk.reuters.com/article/UK_SMALLCAPSRPT/idUKL1462495220070314.
  27. Richter, M., Chersich, M., Ndlovu, D., Maritz, G., Temmerman, M., and Sisonke. (2010). Sex work and the 2010 Soccer World Cup: Violation of sex worker human rights persists. Unpublished manuscript.
  28. Richter, M., Delva, W. (2010). “Maybe it will be better once this World Cup has passed” research findings regarding the impact of the 2010 Soccer World Cup on Sex Work in South Africa, United Nations Populations Fund –UNFPA.
  29. Richter, M., and Massawe, D. (2010a). Report on consultation on HIV/AIDS, Sex Work, and the 2010 Soccer World Cup: Human Rights, Public Health, Soccer and Beyond. Unpublished conference proceedings report; available at www.sweat.org.za.
  30. Richter, M., and Massawe, D. (2010b) Did South Africa’s soccer bonanza bring relief to sex workers in SouthAfrica? The 2010 FIFA World Cup and the impact on sex work. Agenda 85, 21- 30.
  31. Sisonke. (n.d.). Sisonke manual. Unpublished manual.www.sweat.org.za.
  32. Skinner, B. (2010, January 18). South Africa’s new slave trade and the campaign to stop it. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952335,00.html.
  33. The Presidency (2004, May 14). Mbeki: Presentation to FIFA on SA’s bid for 2010 soccer World Cup. Retrieved from http://www.polity.org.za/article/mbeki-presentation-to-fifa-on-sas-bid-for-2010-soccer-world-cup-14052004-2004-05-14.
  34. Wojcicki, J. M. (2002). Commercial sex work of ukuphanda? Sex-for-money exchange in Soweto and Hammarskraal area, South Africa. Culture, medicine, and psychiatry 26(3). 339 – 370.
  35. Wojcicki, J.M. and Malala, J. (2001). Condom use, power, and HIV/AIDS risk: sex-workers bargain for survival in Hillbrow/Joubert Park/Berea, Johannesburg. Social Science & Medicine 53(1), 99-121.

The African Football Development Model

The African Football Development Model

Eugene Augustus “Gusty” Cooper, Jr.
African Governance and Economics
Naval War Colleg
e

Abstract

The world usually looks at the African countries as unequal, third-world partners; on the football pitch, the African states take a back seat to no one.  This paper explores the relationship between African football, African governments, African society, and African economics.  Football is Africa’s national pastime[1], but the national football associations and the local football clubs are sometimes plagued with symptoms similar to those found in the African governments – corrupt leaders, inadequate training facilities, lack of funding, disputes between ethnic football clubs, and the extraction of Africa’s best players to the European leagues.  Despite these obstacles, Africans compete as equals on the world football stage – going to the quarterfinals of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) world cup, winning FIFA junior world cups, and winning Olympic gold medals.  This paper provides a brief background on sport and football in Africa, and in doing so extracts an African Football Development Model.  The African Football Development Model is then used as a tool to demonstrate future examples for African countries to better themselves in governance, economics, social aspects, and integration into the international community.  Application of the Football Development Model in future African development efforts can potentially affect the following liberal tradition[2] aspects: improved multiparty democracies, more volunteer associations in the African societies, better ethnic relationships, more gender equality, better elite / working class relationships, improved socioeconomic development, and a reduction in illicit non-state actors.

Introduction
Africa has a tremendously long history – much longer than football has been a part of Africa.  This paper briefly describes the early beginnings of football in Africa, but its concentration is on the period from the 1950’s to present.  This is when the African states achieved their independence; established (and re-established) their governments, economies, and societies; and forged their tenuous inclusion into the international community.   This period has not been kind to the new African countries as a few simple statistics reveal: (1) Africa’s GNP per capita is $528 and the industrialized countries’ is $28,086[3], (2) Africa has 22 of the 24 states that the United Nations Development Program characterizes as Low Human Development[4] , and (3) there have been 188 attempted and 372 planned military coups during this period.[5] 

From the 1950’s to the present, African states have achieved equality on the football pitch despite their overall struggles in national and international development.  As Cameroon’s World Cup victory demonstrates, the game can have both positive and negatives effects on Africans and on African countries.  Football can be a source of national and continental pride and of economic advancement; it can be a source of personal dreams and personal fitness.  Football can also be a source of  corruption and human trafficking.  Even with these possibilities, are sports in general and football in particular really relevant in the future of African states as they continue their integration into the global community?  I believe the answer is yes, but a more important lesson can be learned by first observing how the African states navigated the international football politics to achieve equality, extracting the Football Development Model from this history, and then demonstrating how this model can be applied to future development.

Governments, Football, and Sports Platitudes
Almost every country plays football and other sporting events, but typically one does not think of them as important aspects in governance.  Governments exists primarily to promote an environment where all of its citizens enjoy life, feel safe, live healthy, have a place to live, have enough to eat, have meaningful employment, and participate in social activities that result in community and national pride.  From an economic and employment aspect, sports can be a major governmental contributor.  Consider the following examples of 2008 sports-related revenues: Adidas and Nike reported revenues of $16.2 billion and $18.6 billion[6]; and the European football market had revenues of $23 billion[7].  These astounding revenue numbers can be contrasted to the fact that in 2008, only 15 African states had a GDP higher that $15.6 billion.[8]  Likewise, sports and football can be influential in the social and individual living aspects.  Right from its beginning, football was a working class game that allowed the English neighborhoods, with a multitude of industrial jobs and unions, to bond into larger entities that resulted in civic/national pride and helped the working class insert itself into the economic and political framework.[9]

This same phenomenon is occurring in Africa, and will increase as Africa’s middle class continues to grow. Participation in football provides individuals with an opportunity to set and achieve goals, maintain their personal fitness, enjoy the comradeship of teammates, and potentially, make a career of the game. Thus, even though one may not initially associate sport and football as important components of governments, the sports clichés – sport begets dreams, sport instills discipline, sport teaches organization skills, sport fosters civic involvement, sport brings disparate people together, sport maintains health, and sport is an economic activity – are indeed important to any government.  In addition to these platitude-style connections of sports and government, the remainder of this paper describes a better way in which lessons from football can be used in the future development of African nations.

Extracting the Football Development Model from African Football
In achieving equality in the international football scene between the 1950’s and present, the African countries followed a pattern for their success that can be applied to other areas of national development.  A brief history of the successful African football journey provides the background for developing the Football Development Model.

Origins of African Football – Africans like all inhabitants of the earth have participated in sport for as long as they have been here.   The ancient Egyptians played a form of baseball as early as 2400 B.C.[10],which was long before Abner Doubleday invented the American pastime.  The Nubians began wrestling as early as 1410 B.C.,[11] and their wrestling traditions are still maintained as every Nubian boy dreams of someday representing his village in a wrestling match.[12]   The early versions of African sport such as wrestling, archery, and horse racing were mostly connected to the military aspect of government.  The modern day versions of African sport are connected to the social and economics aspects of government.  Football is a modern day addition to the African sports landscape. Europe introduced football to Africa as a colonial tool that provided native Africans an avenue for activities as they moved into urban areas,[13] and as a Catholic missionary said, “to remove them from the influence of immoral dancing.”[14]   The colonial game of football has consumed the continent just like the Bantu farmers consumed the Khoisan hunter-gathers in Sub Saharan African.[15]  The fact that Africans embraced a colonial tool when the Bantu language did not have an indigenous word for ball[16] is easily explained.  The basic tenets of football – a fun game, simple rules, minimal equipment (ball, field, and goal markers), and social gatherings – appealed to the newly arriving urban Africans, and they discovered they could turn the social gatherings into their advantage in struggling with colonialism.  Right from the start, native Africans organized their own football clubs and used the sanctuary of matches to recruit people willing to resist colonialism.[17]  The organization of football clubs by native Africans frightened the Europeans, and the Europeans responded with repressive measures such as requiring the native Africans to play barefoot.[18]  A most famous example of football’s colonial resistance is the Algerian XI[19], a football team based in Tunisia that was composed of Algerians who gave up their French football leagues to support the Algerian independence movement.  The Algerian XI provided the “youth of Algeria an example of courage, rectitude, and unselfishness”[20] as they toured from 1958 to 1962 in North Africa, Europe, and Asia building a record of 39 wins, 4 losses, and 10 draws.  In addition to fighting colonialism, football was a tool in the newly independent countries.  For example, as Ghana emerged into an independent entity, President Kwame Nkrumah sent the Ghanaian national football team on an international tour to dispel European prejudices, build national confidence, and instill a sense of Ghanaian pride.[21]  Both Algeria and Ghana continue their football traditions as they qualified for the 2010 World Cup.

African Football and Football Organizations – The examples cited in the previous section demonstrate African countries using football as a tool in development, but they do not explain how the African states achieved equality on the pitch.  This history provides an effective pattern that can be copied in other venues to improve Africa’s standing in the international community.  In order to understand this history, one has to begin by understanding the organization of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).  FIFA is a large and complex organization, but the main components to understand are shown in Figure 1.[22]

 

FIFA Organization

Figure 1. FIFA Organization

The three layer organization consists of FIFA at the top level, which governs six continental confederations: Europe (UEFA), Asian (AFC), Africa (CAF), the Pacific Ocean Area (OFC), South America (CSF), and North / Central America (CONCACAF).  Each of the continental confederations is responsible for governing the national associations in its confederation.  FIFA has risen from its small beginnings to become a major international organization with massive financial clout. This is evident in its 2008 financial report: income was $957 million, expenses were $773 million, and equity was $902 million.[23]  As with any large, economically viable international organization, FIFA has its own self-serving interests, and it is up to the Continental Confederations and National Associations to navigate this three-tiered political landscape to ensure that their interests are also served.  Between the late 1950’s and today, CAF and the African nations successfully navigated the FIFA politics to achieve equality on the football pitch.  This is the same time period that the same African states struggled to achieve equality in the international political ‘pitch’.  This approach to success in football can be extracted as the African Football Development Model.

The African continent is united under the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF).  Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Africa convened in 1956 to establish CAF and establish the first African Cup of Nations for 1957.[24]  CAF immediately stood-up for African rights as it banned South Africa from the inaugural Cup because it would not compete with an integrated team.  Between 1957 and 1974, CAF struggled with FIFA politics as they attempted to get more African teams into the World Cup, but were continually rebuffed by European-dominated FIFA who claimed that African football was not worthy of additional entries.  During this time period, the number of countries in FIFA increased from 54 (over half from Europe) to 140 (less than a third from Europe).

Europe’s control of the FIFA presidency and executive committees received a rude awakening when João Havelange, from Brazil, challenged Sir Stanley Rous in the 1974 election.  Havelange courted the African votes by promising several items: (a) expelling the apartheid South Africa from FIFA, (b) increasing the number of teams in the World Cup to 24 with more places for Africa, (c) creating junior World Cup events for younger players and letting Africa host them, and (d) providing grassroots support for African football in the form of funding and technical training for players, coaches, and officials.  The vote was close because Sir Stanley had been a good leader, but his refusal to budge on South African apartheid saying sports and politics should not mix was his downfall.  From CAF’s initial establishment, it had opposed apartheid and with Africa’s unanimous support, Havelange won the FIFA presidency.  Havelange’s astute business senses allowed him to transform FIFA from a small organization into an international juggernaut with worldwide broadcast rights and corporate sponsors such as Coke and Adidas.  When he left the FIFA presidency in 1998, he left over $8 billion to his successor.  In return for the African support, Havelange and FIFA delivered on all of their promises.[25]

The culmination of the relationship between Africa and FIFA is FIFA’s awarding the World Cup 2010 to South Africa, but that event in itself demonstrates Africa’s ability to negotiate FIFA politics.  Just as Havelange sought the African vote, so too did Lennart Johansson of Sweden for the 1998 election.  Johansson courted the Africans with a vision that included harmony between European and African football and providing world cup revenues directly to the national football associations. CAF endorsed Johansson, but Sepp Blatter (the Swiss who was the FIFA general secretary) mounted a last minute campaign (endorsed by Havelange) that included a promise of Africa hosting the 2006 World Cup (and possibly under-the-table payments to the African national associations).  The CAF endorsement was splintered; most African countries supported Blatter, who won and is still serving as the FIFA president.  Blatter could not deliver the 2006 World Cup to South Africa, but he did for 2010. It has been a long road as Africa has achieved equality in both the football pitch and the FIFA politics.  FIFA’s advertisements for World Cup 2010 demonstrate this equality.  Their “Win in Africa with Africa” program states, “In essence, ‘Win in Africa with Africa’ is not about sending aid to Africa so much as providing the continent with the tools to progress and the skills with which it can continue its own development.”[26]  This is exactly what the African states, CAF, and the African national football associations achieved as they taught themselves how to negotiate FIFA politics to benefit both FIFA and Africa.

Grassroots Fundamentals in the Rise of African Football[27]– For any skill to be learned, adequate training must be provided.  In the case of football, FIFA, in cooperation with the national football associations, has created a wonderful system for training coaches, players, and officials.  Football has been grouped into technical skills (like dribbling, passing, and tackling), tactical skills (like team formations and controlling the midfield), and psychological skills (like being prepared to play).  Coaching these skills has been organized into various levels, where a specific set of training is provided followed by a written test and a demonstration test that results in a certification for that level, with the levels roughly corresponding to beginner through professional.  Properly trained coaches are then prepared to organize practices for beginners, intermediates, advanced, and professionals.  FIFA has organized a similar system for referees and officials.  The African associations did not solely negotiate financial aid from FIFA, but rather funding support that included establishing grassroots training in the fundamentals of football throughout Africa.  This fundamental grassroots training has allowed football to prosper at all levels of African society.

Accepting Imperfection in the African Football System – Just because the African countries have gained equality on the football pitch does not mean that everything associated with African football is perfect.  Three areas require improvement: playing conditions, the pay structure of the national teams, and movement of African players to the European leagues.  The playing conditions,[28] for both practice and matches are not equal to those in Europe.  At the grassroots level, the fields are often uneven without grass.  Similar conditions exist for the club practice facilities.  The club and national stadiums are sometimes rather old and in need of repair, which has resulted in several stadium accidents.  National team pay is often below average and corrupt government officials sometimes skim the money provided by FIFA to pay national team members.  Leo Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s football chief and the nephew of President Mugabe, was voted out of office by the national association when $60,000 was discovered missing.[29]

Undoubtedly, the most noted problem is the movement of African footballers from Africa to the European leagues. This has even been characterized as human trafficking in some instances.[30]  Today’s movement of football players to improve clubs is a continuation of a trend that began in the 1870’s when English clubs employed the talented Scottish footballers.[31]   Footballers in Europe get paid considerably more than in Africa so it is natural that they would want to play there; however, there are several dubious means that underlie the movement. The FIFA compensation system for clubs loosing players is not dishonest, but it is the starting point from which dishonesty originates.  In order to compensate a club for training elite players, FIFA’s rules stipulate that the recipient club pays a transfer fee to the club losing the player.  For rich European clubs, the transfer fee for marquee players is high.  Once Africa demonstrated some football prowess, the European clubs looked to Africa for inexpensive talent.  This practice was compounded by the success of African youth teams (African teams have won 5 of the 12 U-17 World Cups[32] ).  European clubs established a presence in Africa in the form of football academies with the main purpose of pilfering African football talent.  Unfortunately, with this came unscrupulous agents who would make sweet promises of European contracts to young players not talented enough to make the grade – the success rate of African footballers in Europe is 20 percent.[33]  These players’ families would pay the agents, who would find transportation to Europe with a hoped for club try-out, which often ended badly, leaving the young player living on the streets without a proper visa for the European country.  It is these cases that are sometimes referred to as human trafficking.  All of these problems are the natural growing pains in developing a football base, and they can be overcome with time and funding.  In fact, the transfer fee paid to an African club is often a major source of income for the club.  Also, FIFA ended the transfer of minors and the Bosman ruling[34] helped the players by allowing them to play to the end of their contract and move to another club without imposing a transfer fee.  African football has fared well despite these imperfections.

The African Football Development Model – This subsection concisely summarizes the African Football Development Model so that it can be used in a later section to construct future examples of how it can and cannot be used.  The African football teams established themselves as equals on the football pitch by following the following formula.

Stand together for a common cause.  African countries comprise 25% of the world’s states.  By using their collective identity along with other countries in a similar position, they create tremendous bargaining power.

Locate an economically capable international forum whose self-interests can be expanded through negotiations that also expand the African self-interests.

Ensure that the negotiations with the international community establish grass roots programs that train individuals in the basic skills necessary to perform the overall tasking.  Let these basic skills permeate throughout the culture.

Accept some imperfection in the resulting relationships, but do not succumb to imperialism.

Be focused on the long-term results.

Football Rankings and Government Rankings
This section compares the African FIFA ranking to three other African rankings: GDP per Capita ranking, the African Governance Index ranking, and the Failed State Index ranking.  Table 1 lists the African countries in alphabetical order, and depicts the four rankings normalized such that the African countries are ranked 1 through 53.

Table 1. African Countries and Various Rankings


Country

FIFA

GDP/ capita

GOV Index

Fail Index

Country

FIFA

GDP/ capita

GOV Index

Fail Index

Algeria

4

10

7

18

Libya

30

1

21

7

Angola

21

9

46

25

Madagascar

41

40

17

21

Benin

12

28

13

10

Malawi

19

45

14

37

Botswana

33

6

4

6

Mali

8

31

30

15

Burkina Faso

10

34

19

33

Mauritania

46

23

22

29

Burundi

32

51

39

40

Mauritius

48

5

1

1

Cameroon

1

20

33

39

Morocco

11

14

12

13

Cape Verde

23

12

3

14

Mozambique

16

37

31

19

Central African Rep

52

38

48

48

Namibia

26

8

8

11

Chad

37

29

51

50

Niger

44

44

29

41

Comoros

51

27

25

26

Nigeria

5

21

38

44

Congo, DRC

27

52

50

49

Rwanda

29

35

26

30

Congo, Republic

25

16

43

36

Sao Tome & Princ.

53

19

10

12

Cote d’Ivoire

2

22

49

46

Senegal

18

25

16

8

Djibouti

50

18

32

17

Seychelles

47

3

2

5

Egypt

3

15

18

31

Sierra Leone

39

46

35

35

Equatorial Guinea

36

2

41

28

Somalia

45

53

53

53

Eritrea

40

42

47

32

South Africa

17

7

9

3

Ethiopia

35

42

37

43

Sudan

28

17

52

51

Gabon

7

4

11

9

Swaziland

38

13

42

23

Gambia

31

39

15

16

Tanzania

22

33

20

20

Ghana

6

32

6

2

Togo

15

43

34

27

Guinea

13

41

44

47

Tunisia

9

11

5

4

Guinea-Bissau

49

49

36

38

Uganda

14

36

28

42

Kenya

24

26

27

45

Zambia

20

24

24

24

Lesotho

42

30

23

22

Zimbabwe

34

48

45

54

Liberia

43

50

40

34

         

The FIFA rankings are the October 2009 rankings, which were used to seed the 2010 World Cup;[35] the GDP per capita index was computed using values from an International Monetary Fund database tool;[36] the African Government Index is that created by Rotberg and Gisselquist;[37] and the failed state index is that created by the Fund for Peace organization.[38]  The exact definitions of these various rankings is not important for this discussion, and those interested may look them up using the references.  The purpose of comparing these rankings is to demonstrate that the more successful African football associations are not correlated to the most successful in the other rankings.  If this were the case, then the Football Development Model would not provide all African states with an equal opportunity in developing.  A cursory glance at Table 1 shows that there is no correlation between the FIFA ranking and the other government-oriented rankings.  Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Egypt are the top three FIFA rankings, but they have less than exemplary government rankings.  Likewise, Mauritius and Seychelles have great government rankings but woeful FIFA rankings.

Examples of Applying the Football Development Model
The Football Development Model has been extracted from Africa’s football history between the 1950’s and present, and comparison rankings show that the Football Development Model is independent of overall government development.  This section discusses two instances of African development in the context of the Football Development Model.  The first example examines two ongoing sports related developments, and the second example uses the climate change initiative to construct a future application of the Football Development Model.

The first example is that of two sports related programs that are not following the Football Development Model: Sport for Peace and Development International Working Group (SPDIWG) and Right to Play.  The SPDIWG has generated a report stating the standard sports-related clichés: governments should create sports policies because they empower women, include folks with disabilities, promote social inclusion, and teach conflict resolution.[39]  All of these claims are in general true, but the report does not provide a formula that actually allows the governments to accomplish them.  The Right to Play[40] organization’s mission is to improve the lives of children through the use of sport and play, and it is truly accomplishing some of the platitudes described in the SPDIWG report.  Right to Play incorporates several of the pillars of the Football Development Model.  It is a nongovernmental organization that generates funding through donations; it follows a grassroots approach; and it has selected some of the most impoverished countries to receive its help.  It does not, however, involve the African states bargaining together with an economically viable international organization.  The SPDIWG does not help Africa at all, and the Right to Play provides some assistance, but it does not empower African states to succeed.

The second example combines several ongoing international activities – climate, energy, and agriculture – into a perfect fit for the Football Development Model.  The 2009 UN Climate Conference[41] in Copenhagen generated a lot of news.  The less developed countries banded together to demand aid from the more developed ones, claiming that they will unduly suffer from climate change that the more developed countries caused.  Ethiopia and Nigeria are leading Africa’s charge in seeking $400 billion reparations from more developed countries.[42]    The more developed countries seem amenable to providing money; however, this is the wrong approach because it is simply asking for aid.

A better approach would be for the African countries to bargain collectively with more developed countries such that both sides benefit.  The more developed countries are concerned about carbon-based energy, and the Middle East (the main producer of carbon-based petroleum) is concerned about future food production.   Africa can collectively bargain with the more developed countries and the Middle East to transform itself into an equal partner that generates green energy and produces food.  Consider the following two examples that should be used as components of this bargaining: (1) The German-led consortium Desert Industrial Initiative seeks to develop wind, solar, and natural gas energy from the Sahara that can be provided to Europe via lines under the Mediterranean[43] and (2) the Saudis seek their future food needs by developing farms in Ethiopia.[44]   Africa should use the climate change shield to bargain for overall funding of these two initiatives that includes grassroots training in energy and agriculture.  The training should include college training in foreign countries to develop business and technical knowledge necessary to provide leadership, as well as establishing trade schools in local communities to develop industrial skills necessary to implement the project.  The African nations will have to accept foreign leadership and industrial skills in the early phases of development; however, both sides should agree to the gradual replacement of foreigners with Africans.  Additionally, the African nations have to accept the export of their resources (energy and food) in order to receive the initial investment and establish the long-term economic synergy. If Africa follows this Football Development Model pattern, and focuses on the longer term, Africa can become a leader and equal world partner in the areas of green energy and food production by 2035.

Summary
This paper has explored the relationship between football and the future governments of African countries.  The standard sports related platitudes – physical fitness, confidence building, uniting different social and ethnic groups, and establishing civic and national pride – are applicable to African football; however, a more important football related attribute was discovered by exploring how the African states achieved international equality on the football pitch during the same time (1950’s to present) that African countries have failed to achieve equality in the international community.  The African Football Development Model was extracted from this exploration, and it consists of African nations bargaining together with an international economic entity to advance both African and international interests.  The bargaining has to include an infusion of grassroots aid and training that allows Africa to grow its own experts in the area of interest.  The Football Development Model was used to demonstrate ongoing sports related initiatives that do not follow the model and thus will not be successful and to demonstrate a future example that could propel Africa to the forefront in green energy production and agriculture.  I am going to end this paper by reflecting upon a quote from the famous Liberian footballer, Josiah Johnson, who said, “Football is like a biscuit, you never know how it is going to break.”[45]  You can generalize Josiah’s quote by substituting “life” for “football”, in which case you have to say that from the 1950’s to present, life for the African nations has not broken so well.  But if Africa applies the Football Development Model to its future endeavors in the international community, the African nations can bootstrap themselves to equality in other development areas in the same way they did for football.



End Notes

[1] I claim that football is Africa’s national pastime after studying the bibliographic references, which indicate the pervasiveness of football – in particular Armstrong / Giulianotti, Darby, Goldblatt, and Lekunze.  Armstrong alone has detailed analysis of football in 12 African nations and a graph on page 236 that shows almost every African nation has footballers playing in Europe.  The FIFA web-site has statistics for leagues in every African nation.  And emails exchanged with Delavil Lekunze (the Cameroonian lady who wrote The Hidden Power of African Football) confirmed Africa’s passion for football.
[2] Schraeder, p. 314.
[3]Poku, p. 33.
[5]Schraeder, pp. 202, 203.
[7] Deloitte Highlights, pp. 6-9.
[8] IMF World Economic Outlook interactive database tool.
[9] Goldblatt, p. 59.
[10] Piccione.
[11] Carroll, p. 122.
[12] Carroll, p. 133.
[13] Darby, p. 18.
[14] Goldblatt, p. 485.
[15] Diamond, Chapter 19.
[16] Goldblatt, p. 481.
[17]Goldblatt, p. 91.
[18]Goldblatt, p. 491.
[19] Darby, pp. 29, 30.
[20] Darby, p. 29.
[21] Darby, p. 36.
[22] Scherrens, p. 2 (Note that the FIFA Organization is mostly common knowledge, but the cite to Scherrens is the first place that I read it.)
[24] The data in this paragraph is mostly common history that I have summarized by studying (a) Armstrong / Giulianotti, (b) Darby, (c) Goldblatt, and (d) Lekunze; however, the specific description of Johansson and Blatter are primarily from Chapter 13 (pp 513-541) of Goldblatt.
[25] The data in this paragraph is summarized from various sections in (a) Darby, (b) Goldblatt, and (c) Lekunze, but primarily Chapters 6 (pp 108-135) and 7 (pp136-160) of Darby.
[27] The information describing FIFA’s grassroots organization comes from my personal experience as a FIFA Level 8 certified referee and friendships with FIFA certified coaches.
[28] Lekunze, p. 49, p. 62; plus other various readings.
[29] Armstrong, p. 12.
[30]The data in this paragraph dealing with trafficking of African football players is summarized from Scherrens.
[31] Goldblatt, p. 47.
[33] Scherrens, p. 18.
[35] Scherrens, p. 25.
[38] Rotberg and Gisselquist.
40] Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace, Recommendations to Governments, entire report.
[42] UN Climate Conference web-site: http://en.cop15.dk/.
[43] Ezigbo.
[44] Seager.
[44] Rice.

[45]Armstrong, p. 183.

References

  1. Armstrong, Gary and Giulianotti, Richard (Editors), Football in Africa: Conflict, Conciliation and Community, Anthony Rowe Ltd., ISBN 0-333-91979-3 Hardback, 2004.
  2. Carroll, Scott T., “Wrestling in Ancient Nubia”, Journal of Sport History, Volume 15, Number 2, http://www.aafla.org/SportsLibrary/JSH/JSH1988/JSH1502/jsh1502b.pdf, Summer, 1988.
  3. Darby, Paul, Africa, Football, and FIFA: Politics, Colonialism, and Resistance, Frank Cass Publishers, ISBN 0-7146-8029-X, 2005.
  4. The Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance 2009, Deloitte LLP, NOTE: The entire report is $970, but a highlights PDF is free, http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_GB/uk/industries/sportsbusinessgroup/article/b698526bd32fb110VgnVCM100000ba42f00aRCRD.ht, 2009.
  5. Diamond, Jared, Guns, Germs, and Steal, W. W. Norton and Company, 1997.
  6. Ezigbo, Onyebuchi, “Climate Change – Developing Countries Push For U.S.$400 Billion Compensation”, http://allafrica.com/stories/200910270553.html, October 2009.
  7. The FIFA Web-Site’s home page is http://www.fifa.com/.  There are many links traversing from the FIFA home page.  All End Notes that reference the FIFA Web-site will include the specific link in the endnote.
  8. Goldblatt, Daivd, The Ball is Round, A Global History of Soccer, Riverhead Books, ISBN 978-1-59448-296-0, 2006.
  9. Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace: Recommendations to Governments, a report generated by Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group, http://rtpca.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=iwg_home, 2008.
  10. International Monetary Fund, World Economic and Financial Surveys, World Economic Outlook Database, an interactive database tool for extracting economic data on the world’s nations, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/index.aspx, October Edition 2009.
  11. July, Robert W., A History of the African People, Fifth Edition, ISBN 0-88133-980-6, Waveland Press, Inc. 1998.
  12. Lekunze, Delavil, The Hidden Power in African Football, A Bright Pen Book, ISBN 0-7552-1039-5, 2006.
  13. Piccione, Peter, “Pharaoh at the Bat”, College of Charleston Magazine, http://spinner.cofc.edu/~piccione/pharaoh_at_bat.pdf?referrer=webcluster, Spring/Summer, 2003.
  14. Poku, Nana K. and Whiteside, Alan, The Political Economy of Aids in Africa, MPG Books Ltd., ISBN 978-0-7546-3898-8, 2004.
  15. Rice, Andrew, “Is There Such a Thing as Agro-Imperialism?”, The New York Times,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/magazine/22land-t.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1&ref=africa, November 2009.
  16. Rotberg, Robert I. and Gisselquist, Rachel M., Strengthening African Governance, Index of African Governance Results and Rankingshttp://csis.org/event/strengthening-african-governance-index-african-governance-results-and-rankings-2009, 2009.
  17. Scherrens, Jonas, “The Muscle Drain of African Football Players to Europe: Trade or Trafficking?” http://www.etc-graz.at/typo3/fileadmin/user_upload/ETC-Hauptseite/Programm/Aktuelles/the_human_trade_of_african_football_players.pdf, 2006-2007.
  18. Schraeder, Peter J., African Politics and Society, A Mosaic in Transformation, Thomson-Wadsworth, 2006.
  19. Seager, Ashley, “Solar Power from Sahara a Step Closer,” http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/nov/01/solar-power-sahara-europe-desertec, November, 2009.