We hear a lot about soccer in Europe and Latin America, but less about its role in Africa. As we’ll see during the World Cup, African nations are mad about the sport. It’s woven itself into the fabric of life across the continent. How deep is it woven? Steve Bloomfield traveled from Somalia to Sierra Leone to South Africa to find out, a trip he chronicles in his new book, Africa United: Soccer, Passion, Politics and the First World Cup in Africa. I caught up with Bloomfield, who lives in Nairobi, via email to ask him about it.
World Hum: What does having the World Cup in South Africa mean for the continent?
Steve Bloomfield: This World Cup has the potential to begin to change the way the rest of the world views Africa. For an entire month one of the world’s biggest stories will take place in Africa and, with the odd exception, it should be an overwhelmingly positive one.