African football, European legacy

By Emanuele Giulianelli , FIFA.COM Weekly Magazine

Saint GeorgeThe roots of Ethiopian club Saint George can be traced back to the era of colonial rule, when the entire African continent was filled with the outposts of European countries whose armies fought the indigenous population in a grab for land and natural resources. It was against this backdrop that the club was founded by Greek and Armenian settlers in the capital, Addis Ababa, where it quickly became the country’s most formidable side. Many attributed the club’s potency to the support of the patron saint that gave it its name.

These were difficult times. It was 1935 and Ethiopia had just been invaded by Italy. Although young people had already begun to set up football teams, they soon sought to emulate their European occupiers, whose experience in the sport stretched back much further. Fascism had other more immediate impacts on the country’s football Ethiopian teams were forced to change their names, while sides made up of local players were separated from those consisting of Europeans.

Read more at: The FIFA Weekly Magazine (Pages 24-27)