11 Popular Myths about African Football, Debunked.

Africa as a continent has suffered at hands of allegories from the West. It seems there was a ‘smear campaign’ against Africa which was greatly successful.

These misconceptions even trickled into the sport of football, we bring you 11 of them.

Africa is a Country.

You have possibly heard this, it goes beyond football. Many people from Europe and North America think Africa is a country instead of a group of countries.

Africa Cup of Nations is Africa’s elite football competition

Africa has a continental showpiece called the Africa Cup of Nations, countries join the qualifying stage and 16 of those head to the finals. Now you can see that Africa is not a country.

Verdict: Debunked!

In Africa, football is played in the jungle.

This is also not new, but Africa has numerous state-of-the-art stadiums some of which hosted the World Cup in 2010. The others host continental tournaments like AFCON, CHAN, CAF-CL, CAF Confederations Cup among others (see the list Africa’s largest stadiums here).

Verdict: Debunked!

All African Footballers are technically naïve.

Yaya Toure is the most lethal penalty taker in the Premier League, he has also led city to two Premier League titles, what about Riyad Mahrez, Nwankwo Kanu, JJ Okocha, Roger Millar, Samuel Eto’o. If what propelled them was not technique, then what was it?

Verdict: Debunked!

All African Footballers are greedy.

This was based upon Yaya Toure’s antics when he held Manchester City at ransom. But Rooney did the same and got himself a £300,000-a-week contact. They never talk about that.

To add, Nwankwo Kanu founded a heart Surgery Foundation in his country of Nigeria solely from his football earnings, and he is trying to build a Cardiac Hospital, which European players has done the same, or even built a classroom for his community school?

Verdict: Debunked!!!

African Footballers are Violent.

Well, Cantona who kung fu-ed a fan and Joey Burton who ruined his football career because of his rotten behaviour are not African, are they?

Verdict: Debunked!

All African Footballers are black skinned.

Hossam Mido was an African Footballer

Because they come from Africa! Not everyone from Africa has a black skin, what about Mahrez, Mark Fish, Hossam Mido, Aboutrika, Mohamed Salah among others?

Verdict: Debunked!

Africans lack a winning mentality.

They say that Africa has never won a world cup, but Brazil, the record holders of the cup are black. Anyway, at the world cup, Africa (a continent of 54 countries) brings only five countries while Europe (a continent of 51 countries) brings a dozen countries. What a good idea of a levelled field! Oh, its called fair play!

Verdict: Darn Debunked!

All African Players are Unintelligent.

They say that European, in particular, have an edge over Africans because they rely on intelligence while Africans rely on athleticism and their savage strength. Is this true? For all I know, Kanu relied on his skills alone to get the job done. We could name a list.

Verdict: Debunked!

Every Midfielder who comes from Africa is the next Makelele.

We understand the world’s obsession with Claude Makelele’s game reading brilliance but Africa produces talent of all kind. From the solid Song, to the skilled Okocha; from the intelligent Mustapha Hadji to the hard tackling Sammy Kuffor; from the sleek Mahrez to the dazzling Salah. We have it all.

Verdict: Debunked!

All Africans hate their home countries.

This is said because some have chosen to play for European national teams, the bulk of the World Cup winning team of 1998 was made up of Africans who chose to play for France. But we know a bunch of Africans who turned down a chance to feature for European national teams like Kevin Prince Boateng, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, to name but a few.

Verdict: Debunked!

Over to you, tell us some these weird misconceptions about African Football that you have heard.