1 Fussballmigration - ein Traum von Europa und seine Wirkung auf das Deutsche Ausländerbild

Football is booming in Africa. Street football has conquered many public places and the spirit of South Africa 2010, the first World Championship on African soil, is alive everywhere on the continent.

For a couple of years, playing football has provided young Africans with the possibility of going to Europe in order to achieve a better standard of living. Although only a few actually make it to the top, the dream of Europe is ubiquitous among all young talents, whether they are playing in clubs, soccer academies or just in the streets. When young talents come to Europe, clubs take advantage of their knowledge – their respective ability of playing football on a high level – and achieve sporting and economic success.
The following questions concerning generation, use and perception of this knowledge in Europe form the key research foci of the project:

  • How do young Africans develop strategies to gain football-related knowledge that may lead to contracts with European clubs?
  • In what way do African football players in European professional and amateur clubs change the European notion of African migrants in general and how do they contribute to a new image of Africa in Europe?
  • Does football-knowledge at various levels function as a means of integration for migrants?
  • What kind of migratory paths do young talents use and how do these ways differ from other forms of migration?

The migration of African football players is related to two problematic issues: the accusation of human trafficking on the one hand and the danger of racist attacks on the other hand. A holistic research perspective that covers the whole process of migration and includes the formation, transfer and articulation of knowledge enables to identify problems, formulate methods of intervention for relevant actors and may contribute to better modes of integration.

Therefore, fieldwork is conducted in Africa (Ghana and South Africa) as well as in Germany and it covers male and as well as female perspectives.


Launching date




Funded by

Bavarian State Ministry for Science, Research and Arts