NFL sees “really powerful” growth potential for football in Africa

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The NFL is holding its first talent scouting camp in Africa this week and the plan is for the trip to Ghana to be the start of a sustained effort to build a foothold on the continent.

NFL International COO Damani Leech said that the league would like to host events in Nigeria and South Africa, among other countries, in the future because of the potential the league sees to “grow and develop” the game. Current and former players like Osi Umenyiora, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Uchenna Nwosu, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Kwity Paye, Roman Oben, and Mathias Kiwanuka are helping to identify players who would be good fits for the league’s International Player Pathway or academy programs while also acting as proof of the kind of talent pool that exists across Africa.

“It’s really driven by two things: there’s over 100 players in the NFL from Africa — born in Africa [or] whose parents are first generation American — so there’s a tremendous talent pool on the continent that we as a league have not actively [pursued],” Leech said, via Leonard Solms of ESPN.com. “The second is what’s happening broadly in Africa in terms of population growth projections, urbanisation projections, availability of urban technology and broadband wi-fi. All of those things make Africa a [region] that in the next 25-30 years, we think, is going to be really powerful. We want to position the league to be successful in Africa.”

Leech said there are no current plans to hold a game in Africa, but the league’s constant desire to expand into new markets suggests that could be on the table at some point in the future if the effort to build interest in the sport is as successful as hoped.

23 responses to “NFL sees “really powerful” growth potential for football in Africa

  1. This is such a crock. What NFL football fan wants to see their home team play overseas. Greedy bastards.

  2. This is idiotic. Grow the sport in South America before you go to Africa.

  3. Given how damaging football is to the players it doesn’t surprise me that there will be fewer players available in the United States and More in other areas that are poor.
    The thing about football is it requires expensive equipment and you need a lot of coaching.
    I wonder how practical that will be in Africa compared to less damaging sports like soccer and basketball

  4. Apparently the NFL hasn’t learned from the fall of the Roman Empire. You can expand too far and lose what it was you had to begin with.

  5. What about Asians? Why hasn’t the NFL explored playing football in Japan or China? Why is Africa always the first for everything?

  6. In less than 5 years from now , the NFL OWNERS will vote to expansion ,requiring the 2-4 teams to be in other countries. The proverbial $$$ drinking WELL needs to be replenished.

  7. I was going to make a joke about the Jaguars relocating to some city in Africa and then I realized I don’t know any cities in Africa.

  8. rocky8366 says:
    June 24, 2022 at 7:05 am
    This is such a crock. What NFL football fan wants to see their home team play overseas. Greedy bastards.
    _____________

    You are watching the game on television. What difference does it make to you where the game is played? The game looks the same on the screen regardless of its location.

  9. The fact Africa did and will produce even more players of nfl caliber is one really good aspect. Audiences down there will be even more motivated to buy into it.

  10. There are already a lot of players in the nfl that were born in African countries. And college.

  11. Hate to tell the NFL but this goose isn’t going to lay golden eggs forever…and there isn’t as much disposable income on the African continent as this one. Sigh. So full of their self-worth.

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