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No Longer Naive: African Football's Growing Impact at the World Cup

Ibrahim Mustapha

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From the publisher:

No Longer Naive is an in-depth look at the history of African football at the game's greatest showcase event. As football grew globally over the 20th century and the World Cup became the zenith of the sport internationally, Africa was left trailing, both through a lack of organisation and exclusion by the powers that be. In 1974, Africa's 'best' team, Zaire, were humiliated on the world stage, creating a negative perception of African football.

Teams from Africa were often labelled naive in their approach to football, but gradually African nations repaired their reputation. This led to increased participation, vastly improved players and famous victories over the world's best - culminating in the tournament being hosted on the continent for the first time in 2010. However, while great strides have been made on the pitch, greed, in-fighting, violence and the whiff of corruption behind the scenes have undermined progress.

African sides are no longer naive, but are we any closer to seeing a team from Africa lift the World Cup?

The author:

Ibrahim Mustapha is an established sports and multimedia journalist with credits for a number of publications, including national newspapers such as the Daily Mirror and the Daily Star, as well as Yahoo Sport and a number of regional titles in the UK. A son of Nigerian parents, he has also worked as a broadcast journalist at the BBC covering news and sport domestically and internationally.


Pitch Publishing
21 x 14 cm
256 pages
August 2021