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Post-playing-career transitions and struggles
in African football migration
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This chapter explores how African migrant players plan for, manage and negotiate the conclusion of their football career. It shows how a neglect of formal education and the absence of other dual career possibilities frequently limits alternative occupational opportunities for migrant players, resulting in precarious livelihoods characterised by financial difficulties and a declining social status. These can generate significant and (often interconnected) obstacles for players’ post-playing-career trajectories, not least by creating a discrepancy between their social status abroad and at ‘home’. However, in keeping with the rest of the book, this chapter illustrates the resourcefulness of African football players as they seek out other ways of reproducing their social mobility and status when their professional playing career concludes, not least by investing in businesses and housing at home and making strategic decisions around remaining abroad or returning to Africa. This enables a conceptualisation of African migrant footballers’ quest for social mobility as an ongoing process that occurs throughout their life course, from the forming of their migratory aspiration to their transnational careers and finally into their post-playing-career lives.

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African football migration

Aspirations, experiences and trajectories

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