University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Soccer, identity and sporting citizenship in Ireland: border crossings

Storey, David ORCID: (2020) Soccer, identity and sporting citizenship in Ireland: border crossings. In: Sport, Globalisation and Identity: New Perspectives on Regions and Nations. Routledge Research in Sport Politics and Policy . Routledge, London, pp. 36-51. ISBN 9780367440220 (print), 9781003007104 (ebook)

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Regulatory flexibility means that many competitors now have a choice as to which country to represent in international sporting competition. The increased prevalence of nationality swapping highlights distinctions between national identity and sporting citizenship. In soccer, countries with limited pools of players to draw on can access a wider array of talent, while for players themselves it offers the chance of competing on an international stage that might otherwise be denied them. The Republic of Ireland men’s football team has drawn heavily on the extensive Irish diaspora in Britain to augment its playing squad. In addition, some Northern Ireland-born players have elected to play for the Republic. These apparent ‘defections’ have engendered considerable controversy. This phenomenon and the reactions to it form the focus of this chapter. For some northern-born players, switching to the Republic appears motivated by cultural or political considerations. While swapping to the Republic team has provoked some negative reactions, there appears to be a growing acceptance of the situation and a reluctant understanding that players may wish to explore the options open to them.

Item Type: Book Section
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: soccer, identity, sporting citizenship, Ireland
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Depositing User: David Storey
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2020 10:56
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2023 01:00

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