Disentangling memory from truth

October 20, 2021


“Soccer is the global sport. It is so universal that it often intersects with global events. One can read 20th-century world history through international soccer. A major theme of the century—European colonialism—is written all over the sport. In 1974, as the last African countries were winning their independence, colonial dynamics erupted on the biggest soccer stage of all. The 1974 World Cup in West Germany was the first time a Black team made it to the tournament, won eventually by West Germany. (They beat the Netherlands in the final.) In fact, it was two Black teams: Zaire, the first sub-Saharan African team to qualify, and Haiti. In the collective consciousness of football history, both teams are remembered for their dismal performance. But is this legacy justified? …”
Africa Is a Country