NFL games are regularly played in London and occasionally played in Mexico City, and as the league looks to continue its international expansion there’s talk of future games everywhere from Germany to China. But there’s never been an NFL game in Africa.
Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah wants to change that. Ansah, who grew up in Ghana, says the league should consider playing a game somewhere in Africa in the coming years.
“I would love to see a game in Africa,” Ansah told the Lions’ website. “That would be good, and I think there’s a lot of potential back in Africa. I know that one day the NFL will have a game out there just like we do in London.”
Ansah says there are more young people playing American football in Africa than many Americans realize. In addition to Ansah, African-born NFL players have included Liberia’s Tamba Hali, Zaire’s Tim Biakabatuka, Sierra Leone’s Madieu Williams, Côte d’Ivoire’s Amos Zereoué, South Africa’s Gary Anderson and Nigeria’s Christian Okoye.
“I think now that there’s a lot of Africans playing this game, I know the young guys coming up have been picking up on the game,” Ansah said. “When I went there I met a few guys that are eager to learn the game. It’s evolving in Africa.”
It may some day evolve to the point where the NFL plays a game there. Perhaps soon enough that Ansah can be part of it.