While studies on transnational African football migration have increasingly attracted scholarly attention, little is known about the continent’s regional particularities. However, in contrast to the massive influx of footballers from West and North Africa, squads of European professional clubs seldom include players from East Africa. Yet, the concentration on West Africa in academic studies runs the risk of overgeneralizing certain practices on the African continent and, hence, of reproducing Africa’s standing as the homogeneous peripheral other. By analyzing the various historical, structural, and socio-cultural reasons for the general absence of migrant footballers from East Africa, we aim at contributing to a more nuanced picture of African football migration and further discuss the ambivalent consequences of players’ spatial immobility for East Africa’s football development.

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doi.org/10.1177/0193723520919820, hdl.handle.net/1765/127461
Journal of Sport and Social Issues
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Ungruhe, C. (Christian), & Schmidt, M.B. (Mads Backer). (2020). Why are East African Players Absent in European Football? Localizing African Football Migration Along Structural Constraints, Colonial Legacies and Voluntary Immobility. Journal of Sport and Social Issues. doi:10.1177/0193723520919820