Home Institution

Washington University in Saint Louis

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


This project unravels the various reasons why black African men have such a strong attachment to English football teams belonging to the English Premier League. It works to find the answer to the hypothesis, which states that black African men exhibit greater fan support for English football teams and neglect the support of the local African teams.

Eight black African men from East, West, Southern, and Central Africa, describe the manifestation of their soccer fandom for the English team they support as well as their favorite local African club team. Based on the observations gathered through participant observations and interviews, five conclusions can be deduced.

The conclusions are as follows: 1) English football fandom is attributed to electronic colonialism, 2) African football fandom is familial, 3) there is a difference between identifying with a team and having a team as part of one’s identity, 4) African football is not neglected by fans, but by players and football governing bodies, and 5) Africans still care about African football through the influence of Pan-Africanism.


African Studies | Leisure Studies | Politics and Social Change | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology of Culture | Sports Studies


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