Our PhD students (Gijs van Campenhout and Joost Jansen) started to work with the following research questions:
- Did the number of foreign-born athletes in the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics increase over time, 1930-2018? In other words, to what extent have the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games become more migratory?
- To what extent did these migration patterns follow general migration patterns, for example migration as a consequence of decolonisation and labour migration.
- What is the ‘direction’ of this migration?
- How did sending and receiving nations (media-reception) respond to citizenship changes of athletes?
- The key players in this process are: the individual player, who wishes to perform at the highest possible level; the sending states, who have invested in their talents; the receiving states, who expect to gain better results (FIFA, the international sports organizations and IOC) who raise (and have raised) issues of ‘fair play’. This research, therefore, seeks to understand and explain how and why states are gradually willing to sell one of their most valuable assets: citizenship. We have particularly highlight how historic precedents shape current debates of fast-track citizenship changes. We focussed on the private interests at stake and assess the national and international implications of such weighty transformations.
- What are the discourses surrounding race/ethnicity that are being (re)produced in European televised football?
- What role does whiteness play in meanings given to race and ethnicity in (mediated) football?
- How does racism operate in grassroots and professional football as well as in (online) mediated spaces and how can we challenge different forms of racism effectively?