Assistance along a football player's career trajectory: the role of intermediairies in the facilitation of African football migrants towards European leagues.

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This master’s thesis seeks to understand the parallels between migration industry literature regarding migration brokers and its relevance within international football. With the internationalization of many sports industries, an increased number of foreign players are being imported into the top leagues due to the appeal of them being cheap foreign talent. Due to the historical expansion of international football mostly being led by European countries, a center region has developed within football, leaving other regions to become positioned as peripheral regions. Footballers around the world aspire to reach the center region for a variety of reasons, but often some face more challenges than others due to the perceived and physical borders found between them and the center. Often these players require assistance to obtain an opportunity within this region, leaving them to seek out facilitators. This thesis will explore football facilitators, further referred to as intermediaries, to understand the similarities of their role to that of migration brokers. Insights into these similarities was done by interviewing both intermediaries operating within football’s center region, as well as football players originating from Africa but pursuing opportunities within Europe.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen