Throughout the world, football has ingrained itself into the national culture of many countries, to the point were many peoples' lives revolve around the 'beautiful game'. The success and failure of a football team does not only affect the players in the team, but the whole club, fans and country as well.
Today, the game has become glamourised, professional players command mammoth wages and are celebrated as national heroes and role models. Football does not only provide inspiration to many people but can wield considerable power an example of which is the continent of Africa.
The Power of Football in Africa
For Africa football is a source of pleasure and entertainment for millions and provides a chance to indulge in sport and leisure, activities which are usually out of the financial reach of many Africans. Football additionally carries immense power within Africa to create unity out of division and bring substantial assistance to a continent burdened by problems, yet bursting with life.
Because of this a myriad of African nations are now capitalising on the influential power of football to extinguish their countless social, economic and political problems. This in turn has broken down religious, racial and ethnic barriers as well, as experienced by Senegal during their miracle run in the 2002 World Cup.
The success of Senegal in the World Cup brought invaluable happiness to its people, but more importantly raised aid and awareness of the poverty stricken nation to the rest of the world. The players also benefited. El Hadj Diouf, Senegal's standout player during the competition accepted a contract from Liverpool, one of Europe's biggest clubs, to become the highest paid African player in the English Premier League during the time.
El Hadj Diouf is not the only African to benefit from the power of football,