African obsession with European Soccer: Globalization or Imperialism?
That soccer, popularly known as football in most places in Africa originated from Europe is unquestionable. Over the years however, the environment within which football dwells has been adopted, owned and shared by lots of African countries making the game a significant cultural phenomenon in most African spaces. Consequently, Africa, the second largest continent with over 54 countries has carved some clout for itself and has earned the right to be seen as a partner in one of the popular games of the world. A recent trend of the over obsession with European Football by most football fans in certain African countries has however become an issue of great concern.
In this paper I argue that in as much as Africans have the right to support the preferred European football teams, the trend is having a negative impact on the quality of football and its administration on the continent. As a case study, I will use instances in Ghana where most active football fans are identified with a particular European team or the other and follow the progress or otherwise of these teams over a period of time. A number of these African fans are willing to purchase a certain type of paraphernalia by these European clubs as a way of demonstrating the extent of their support. This paper refers to this as a new form of imperialism through sports where the African “self” is unconsciously made to glorify the sports cultural aspect of the Western “other” as being of great quality while loathing that of the local football in most places in Africa.