All videos
How Oil Companies Use Sports To Trick You | Politically Aweh Podcast
Why does TotalEnergies, a French oil company, love African football so much? The answer lies in sportswashing.
March 8, 2024

In 2020, French oil company Total told shareholders extracting African resources is at the "heart of its strategy." Today, it is the company with the most new planned fossil fuel extraction activities across the continent. Some of these projects, like the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, have been described as "carbon bombs," supercharging climate change, and displacing thousands of people from their homes.Join Céline Tshika and the award-winning Politically Aweh team as we explain how sportswashing works using the TotalEnergies sponsorship of Afcon as a case study. Silenced athletes, greenwashing and dirty PR tactics like "astroturfing" all form part of a dark manipulative strategy oil companies and their allies use to prevent regular citizens from understanding the harms caused by fossil fuel extraction and pollution.To understand why more athletes don't speak up, we spoke to former Australian Diamonds netball player, Amy Steel. In 2022, the team famously refused to wear the logo of a controversial fossil fuel company, Hancock Prospecting.We also spoke to host of the Sustaining Sports podcast, researcher Benjamin Mole, who is doing a PhD in sustainable system change focusing on climate justice & southern African sport, and Tracy Makheti, an activist based in Nairobi with Greenpeace Africa.