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Africa and the World Cup

The 1934 Egyptian World Cup squad  COURTESY PHOTO

The 1934 Egyptian World Cup squad  COURTESY PHOTO

The home continent for all human beings, Africa, is no longer represented in the World Cup, as the quarter-final round begins. On June 30, Nigeria lost to France, and Algeria lost to Germany in the round of 16. This was the first time in the history of the competition that two African teams made it to the round of 16 together.

Egypt appeared for the first time during the second FIFA World Cup in 1934, but from 1938-1966 no African teams were included in the competition.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match pitting the U.S. against Ghana drew almost 15 million TV viewers worldwide. Ghana triumphed, but was eliminated in the quarterfinals.  COURTESY PHOTO

The 2010 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match pitting the U.S. against Ghana drew almost 15 million TV viewers worldwide. Ghana triumphed, but was eliminated in the quarterfinals.  COURTESY PHOTO

Cameroon was the first African team to reach the quarter-finals in 1990; since then, Senegal made it in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

The European countries still competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup—France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands —at one point had colonial dominion over parts of the continent. Those countries are still benefitting from that rule; every one of their World Cup teams features at least one player (often many, especially in the case of France) who has an African parent. Brazil, a country built on the backs of enslaved Africans, has many players of African descent on its team; in fact, Brazil is home to the second largest Black population on the globe (Nigeria is number one).

 

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