I’ve never considered why Argentina’s national team has never had any Black players, at least in my lifetime, and compared to its South American neighbours like Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile. But it’s a valid question and one HITC Sevens handled very well in a video they uploaded in July.
Whilst neighbouring Uruguay and Brazil have had plenty of black footballers, including their greatest players of all time in the forms of Pele and Jose Andrade, the same cannot be said for Argentina. Despite sharing a similar colonial past to their near neighbours, Argentina’s black population is a fraction of the nation’s around them, and following a question from a subscriber during the 2018 World Cup, HITC Sevens takes a look at why that is the case.
I recommend you watch the video in full (and then, if the subject interests you, do some more research) but if you want the abridged version: it’s a number of reasons linked to:
- Governments treating Black enslaved people like shit and that behaviour and attitude continuing for centuries after it was abolished
- A smaller population of Black people in comparison to other countries on the continent (Afro-Argentines, for example, accounted for 0.37% of Argentina’s population as of the 2010 census). This means an even lower chance of any Black players making their way through the ranks and making a name for themselves in order to get selected alongside possible racial bias amongst scouts and officials
I hope this will change in the future but I hope Black lives will start to matter more in Argentina first.
Update: via the comments, here’s an insightful dissertation on the racial ideology of Argentina through football in the early 20th century.
Update 2: Given Argentina’s 2022 World Cup performances, this article is getting a lot of views so I thought I’d add in another article for reference, regarding how black people were eliminated in Argentina throughout history.