‘Producing’ African labour for the global football industry
in African football migration
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This chapter examines the key nodes of the African football export industry. It outlines the primary sites that young players typically access and navigate as they pursue a career as transnationally mobile, professional football players. Through doing so, the chapter presents a detailed overview of the complex assemblage of networks, nodes, actors and institutions through which transnationally mobile African footballers are fashioned and exported, and how this has changed through time. It also encompasses an account of the spatial dimensions of players’ mobilities and the frameworks and rules that regulate their cross-border movements. Given the centrality of football academies as the dominant production and export node in this industry, the chapter addresses the rise and diversity of academies and explains the divergent philosophies and business models that they adopt. By examining the key nodes through which a young African player might be shaped into a highly skilled labourer, the chapter provides fresh perspectives on how players attain significant monetary value, thereby becoming potentially attractive exports to football markets beyond the African continent.

African football migration

Aspirations, experiences and trajectories

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