FIFA and the Editions E/P/A publishing house unveiled the book Le Football et l'Afrique today, Monday 8 December, at a press conference at the Dapper museum in Paris, France, attended by authors Paul Dietschy and David-Claude Kemo-Keimbou, and Rachid Mekhloufi and Abedi Pele, who formerly played for Algeria and Ghana respectively.
Le Football et l'Afrique is a unique work on the history of football in Africa. The idea behind the book was to compile a history of African football, collating all of the football archives scattered across the continent in a single volume. The authors - Paul Dietschy, a renowned historian, who is also the co-author of FIFA 1904-2004, and David-Claude Kemo-Keimbou, an expert on African sport and sociology - provide a fresh analysis of football not only as a game, but more importantly, as an instrument for developing national identity and a way for Africa to assert itself internationally.
Le Football et l'Afrique recalls the exploits of African footballers, which certainly represent one of the most positive images of the continent in this age of globalisation, but also gives an account of football in the colonial period. So, for example, the authors describe how football was used as an instrument in various independence struggles, as illustrated by the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale) team during the Algerian war. Football was also at the core of the political battles of many countries emerging from decolonisation. This book also tells the story of football as a tool in the campaign to end apartheid, which was rewarded by South Africa being chosen as the host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
FIFA's involvement in the publication of this book, which retraces football's place in the political, social and cultural history of Africa, highlights its commitment to the Win in Africa with Africa initiative and, with the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa only a year and a half away, also makes a contribution to the annals of African footballing history.
The book is currently available in French, and the English version will be published in early 2009.