University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

National Allegiance and Sporting Citizenship: Identity Choices of ‘African’ Footballers

Storey, David ORCID: (2019) National Allegiance and Sporting Citizenship: Identity Choices of ‘African’ Footballers. Sport in Society, 23 (1). pp. 129-141. ISSN Print: 1743-0437 Online: 1743-0445

[img] Text
Storey pre-pub.docx - Accepted Version

Download (69kB)


Sport provides a useful lens through which the complexities of national identity and citizenship can be explored. Competitors don the national colours, salute the anthem and face the flag, becoming the embodiment of the wider imagined community, carrying the nation’s hopes and dreams. Traditionally, those who compete for countries have usually been born and raised there or have lived there for sizeable periods of their lives. In recent years, however, the selection by international sports teams of competitors born in other countries has become increasingly common. A combination of national citizenship requirements, residency qualifications and the shifting regulations of sporting bodies has seen an increasing number of ‘transfers’ of national allegiance. In football, a number of African teams draw heavily on their European-born diasporas, a reflection of a colonial past and deeply entrenched migration routes. Alongside this, European national teams, most notably France and Belgium, are composed of many players with close family links to Africa. These scenarios serve to draw attention to the often complex, multi-layered and contingent nature of national identity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: nationality, citizenship, football, identity, Africa, diaspora
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
Related URLs:
Depositing User: David Storey
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2019 15:14
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2020 04:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Worcester Research and Publications is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.