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Africa's World Cup

Critical Reflections on Play, Patriotism, Spectatorship, and Space

Edited by Peter Alegi and Chris Bolsmann

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

From May 15, 2004, when the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), soccer’s world governing body, announced that South Africa would host the 2010 World Cup, South Africans oscillated between collective exhilaration and personal anxiety. In the six years between FIFA’s decision and the opening ceremony at Soccer City outside...


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pp. xi-xiii


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p. xiv-xiv

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pp. 1-18

The world cheered in 1994 when Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected president of South Africa. It celebrated again in 2010 when the World Cup—the world’s most popular sporting event—was successfully staged in the former land of apartheid. After Spain defeated the Netherlands to win the first World Cup played on African...

Part 1: Refashioning Urban Spaces and Local Struggles in Host Cities

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World Cup Finale on Long Street

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pp. 21-30

It is July 11, 2010, the moment of victory for the Spanish team. Spain has put unrelenting pressure on the Dutch goal with elegant passing across midfield and shot after shot on goal until 116 minutes into the game, Andres Iniesta scores. It is a victory of decency over roughhouse. The Dutch have played a kick-bite game, with seven players ...

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Integration, Marginalization, and Exclusion in World Cup Johannesburg

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pp. 31-41

In October 2008, Bafana Bafana played an international friendly against Malawi at Germiston Stadium, east of Johannesburg. The eighteen-thousand-capacity ground appeared to be less than a third full at kickoff, but twenty minutes later, hundreds of ticketless fans were let in for free. My colleague, Dan, and I were two of a tiny number of ...

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The World Cup Geography of Durban: What Will Endure?

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pp. 42-51

In the weeks leading up to the 2010 World Cup, the quality and texture of urban space in Durban, as elsewhere in South Africa, began shifting. In the country’s second-largest city and the continent’s busiest commercial port, flags rapidly began to sprout from the windows, walls, and balcony railings of apartment blocks, houses, and office buildings as...

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Cape Town, the City without and within the White Lines

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pp. 52-58

The opportunity to immerse myself in human experiences at the confluence of urban spaces where vastly differing cultural influences meet and how these spaces physically and experientially can shape a city intrigues me as an architect. This professional curiosity heightened my sense of anticipation as I landed in Cape Town on my first journey...

Part 2: World Cup Sounds, Visual Culture, and Aesthetics

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World Cup Music and Football Noise: The Lion King, Waka Waka, and the Vuvuzela

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pp. 61-69

With ESPN’s broadcast of the World Cup’s opening match, my fellow tweeters began to crack jokes about the Lion King. We imagined Rafiki and Mufasa calling the matches and half expected the referees to lift up the Jabulani to announce the arrival of the New Ball. Some folks simply observed that there was a good reason for this resemblance. The...

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The Vuvuzela as Paradox of Leisure and Noise: A Socioculture Perspective

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pp. 70-76

The character and consequence of stadium noise produced by long plastic horns known as vuvuzelas became the subject of sustained international debate during the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa, the dress rehearsal for the 2010 World Cup. The vuvuzela performances of fans in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and...

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Halakasha! The Time Has Come! : Exhibiting the Art of Football Fandom

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pp. 77-86

The 2010 World Cup provided a momentous occasion for South Africans from across the social spectrum to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event. As the contributors to this book have noted, it was a month of spectacular excitement both on and off the pitch. The upbeat nature of the events permeated all aspects of life. Shopping malls, taverns...

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Soccer Bleu: The View from Paris

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pp. 87-96

On a quiet corridor of a street, perched at the top of a hill sixty-three meters above the city of Paris, there is a bar named Le Village. Like the surrounding neighborhood, which is tucked in between the high-rises and boulevards of the southeast part of the city, the bar is modest. The food is edible, and after slight renovations recently, the ...

Part 3: Spectatorship, Patriotism, Nationalism, and Pan-Africanism

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Ghana's Black Stars: A Fifty-Year Journey to the World Cup Quarterfinals

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pp. 99-108

It’s the 120th minute—the last gasp of extra time—of the World Cup quarterfinal between Ghana and Uruguay at Soccer City. The game is tied 1–1 as Asamoah Gyan steps up to take the most important shot in African soccer history. I could not believe that Ghana’s Black Stars were about to become the first African team to reach the World ...

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To Sing or Not to Sing? : National Anthems, Football Obsessions, and Bafana Bafana's World Cup

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pp. 109-118

In the spirit of reconciliati on of a free South Africa, the new national anthem combined “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (God Bless Africa), a religious hymn turned liberation song originally composed by Enoch Sontonga in 1897, with two stanzas from “Die Stem,” the national anthem used under apartheid. In 1988, as a student at Pretoria Boys High ...

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An Aficionado's Perspectives on the Complexity and Contradictions of Rooting for a Team in the 2010 World Cup

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pp. 119-131

I was born and grew up in Benin, West Africa. I have played and been an aficionado of the “beautiful game” for as long as I can remember. My love affair with the World Cup was lived through French magazines such as Le Miroir du Football, France Football, L’Equipe, Afrique Football, and Onze and occasionally through television. Although the...

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Chronicling the Uruguayan World Cup Experience across South Africa

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pp. 132-147

The football press imposes certain stories on us, and the one about Uruguay went like this: Uruguay, which back in 1930 staged and won the first ever World Cup, has for decades engaged in brutal and mean-spirited tactics that have made the team a disgrace to the “beautiful game.” Uruguay was the last nation to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, barely beating Costa Rica in a playoff. Uruguay ...

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Screaming U-S-A! (and Other Imagined Things): Us versus Them at South Africa 2010

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pp. 148-158

There should have been something discordant about finding oneself in semirural South Africa surrounded by jolly mobs of drunken Americans wearing Uncle Sam top hats complemented by sequined red, white, and blue tuxedos screaming “U-S-A” on an endless repeat. Without the proper context, it might well have been a cartoon satire...

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Three Lions Ate My Shirt: England Fans in South Africa

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pp. 159-167

The banter about South Africa began the moment that Wayne Rooney put the final goal past the opposition keeper to complete England’s 5–1 rout of Croatia and clinch “our” World Cup qualification. British newspaper clichés would shortly be joined by murkier tales of spiraling murder and armed robbery rates, uncompleted stadiums, the...

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Mexi-co, Mexi-co, Ra, Ra, Ra! : Invented Traditions and the Cultural Performance of Mexican Fans at the 2010 World Cup

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pp. 168-175

June 22, 2010: Rustenburg, 120 kilometers west of Johannesburg. It’s a fast-growing city, home to nearly four hundred thousand people and to the largest platinum mines in the world and the scene of the worst performance of El Tri—Mexico’s national team—at the 2010 World Cup. Two days earlier, Elena, a Mexican living in Johannesburg...

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The Road to 2010: A Soccer Journey from Marrakech to Johannesburg

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pp. 176-186

The idea came up while we were living and working in Johannesburg in 2008: Let’s drive a car all the way from Europe through Africa to the 2010 World Cup. It sounded like a crazy idea, and, in fact, it was. To make the best of our journey, given our limited time and means, we soon decided to focus on the region that produced Roger Milla, Michael...

Part 4: Political Discourses and Economic Rationales of World Cup Hosting

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Worlds Apart? : The 1995 Rugby World Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup

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pp. 189-199

While South Africa has hosted numerous sports events since the end of apartheid, two events stand out far above the rest: the 1995 Rugby World Cup, recently rememorialized in the movie Invictus, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in association football. Perhaps not coincidentially, Invictus was released in the lead-up to 2010, increasing the...

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South Africa Welcomes the World: The 2010 World Cup, Xenophobia, and South Africa's Ubuntu Dream

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pp. 200-209

“Ke nako (it is time): Celebrate Africa’s Humanity” was the official 2010 FIFA World Cup slogan, announced on November 25, 2007.1 Conscious of the superficial and negative way that Africa is so often portrayed in the world media—a backward place of poverty, conflict, dictatorships, and corruption—designers picked a slogan that would defy such associations and portray a more hospitable image of the ...

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In the Theater of the World Cup

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pp. 210-218

The World Cup is the largest theater that has ever existed in human history. It produces a powerful monthlong narrative in which all those who watch and participate largely follow one plotline. The features of football itself guarantee a gripping drama that invariably includes heroism, tragedy, unfairness, massive blunders by referees, and ...

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Forum on the 2010 World Cup: Perspectives from South African Practitioners

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pp. 219-234

Mohlomi Kekeletso Maubane: To better understand what the World Cup meant to me, I’d like to go back to 1990. I was staying in a rural township called Bapong, just outside Brits in what is now the North West Province. I was in Standard 4 (Grade 6), and my daily routine entailed going to school, coming back home to do my chores, like fetching...


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pp. Image 1-Image 16

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 235-242


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pp. 243-246


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pp. 247-256

E-ISBN-13: 9780472029112
E-ISBN-10: 0472029118
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472071944
Print-ISBN-10: 0472071947

Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 1 figure, 25 color
Publication Year: 2013

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • World Cup (Soccer) -- (2010 : -- South Africa).
  • Soccer -- Tournaments -- South Africa.
  • Sports and culture -- South Africa.
  • Sports and society -- South Africa.
  • Nationalism and sports -- South Africa.
  • South Africa -- Social life and customs.
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