This article examines how young Ghanaian football players and their families actively engage with the processes and decision-making that lead them to migrate internally to academies. In particular, it explores whether moving to an academy is understood within the family setting as a precursor to international migration and as such, might feature as part of a broader household livelihood strategy. Drawing on empirical data collected during nine months of ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana, the article sheds light on the experiences of players who encounter the recruitment processes employed by academies and how these are shaped and informed by Ghanaian family arrangements and in particular the social norm of intergenerational reciprocity. By uncovering these wider dynamics, this study challenges the popular assumption that African youth and their family members unambiguously view academies as vehicles for international migration and future prosperity.
- football migration
- intergenerational contract