Speculation in and through football migration
in African football migration
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Using Ghana as a case study, this chapter demonstrates the importance of contextualising African football migration geographically and historically. This approach enables us to highlight a range of actors, networks, institutions and processes that influence opportunities to produce football-related mobility in and from the African continent. The chapter outlines they ways in which the shift from a socialist developmental philosophy to an era where the meta narrative for economic development is neoliberal marketisation, has transformed how the Ghanaian football industry and actors within it function. Football is now a business, driven primarily by the profit motive. Ghana’s success in the 1991 FIFA youth championships is considered a watershed moment in the positioning of player migration as a means to generate surplus value. This is shown to have resulted in the rapid growth of an export-oriented infrastructure for Ghanaian football and intense competition over playing talent involving a multitude of actors, ranging from the players themselves, to clubs, football associations, ‘card dealers’, managers and recruitment agents. Consequently, the movement and migration of players within Ghana and beyond is argued to be actively encouraged as part of speculative strategies.

African football migration

Aspirations, experiences and trajectories


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