Differing Trajectories: Football Development and Patterns of Player Migration in South Africa and Ghana

Paul Darby, Eirik Solberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This article employs a comparative approach to the dynamics underpinning the transnational migration of African football players. More specifically, it assesses the extent to which divergent levels of professionalism and football development across the game in South Africa and Ghana shape and contour patterns of player mobility. This analysis, rooted in ethnographic research in both locales, reveals that significant economic divergences between the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in South Africa and the Ghanaian Premier League produce dramatically different patterns of inward and outward football migration. These patterns reveal that while Ghana’s most talented players typically seek careers outside of the country, the PSL is not only able to retain highly skilled South African football labour but also represents an attractive destination for footballers from elsewhere in the continent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSouth Africa and the Global Game: Football, Apartheid, and Beyond
PublisherRoutledge
Pages118-130
ISBN (Print)97080415469319
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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    Darby, P., & Solberg, E. (2010). Differing Trajectories: Football Development and Patterns of Player Migration in South Africa and Ghana. In South Africa and the Global Game: Football, Apartheid, and Beyond (pp. 118-130). Routledge.