African Footballers in Sweden: Race, Immigration, and by Carl-Gustaf Scott

By Carl-Gustaf Scott

This booklet employs men's soccer as a lens in which to enquire questions in terms of immigration, racism, integration and nationwide identification in present-day Sweden. in particular, this examine explores if expert soccer serves as a profitable version of multiracialism/multiculturalism for the remainder of Swedish society to emulate.

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Additional info for African Footballers in Sweden: Race, Immigration, and Integration in the Age of Globalization

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Accordingly, Swedish football’s first real encounter with radically different football traditions (as well as new cultural norms off the pitch) would not occur until the late 1980s to early 1990s, when it suddenly saw an influx of players from the former Communist states of Eastern Europe. 79 This trend gained further momentum in 1995 when Sweden joined the European Union. 80 In December 1995, the European Court of Justice ruled in favor of Jean-Marc Bosman, a relatively unknown Belgian player, who asserted The African Diaspora in the Global Football Market O 25 his legal right to become a free agent at the end of his current contract over the objections of his club.

162) Consequently, there are a lot of complex nuances at work here, and this generalization clearly does not apply to Africans of Arabic descent, but the main point is just that black footballers have come under fire from the stands not because they represent the most hated minority group in Swedish society but rather because they have traditionally been the most visible ethnic/racial minority in Allsvenskan. 163 This has ensured that black footballers at the top levels of the game have become public symbols of—and proxies for—the broader immigrant communities in these two countries (and in many other Western European states as well).

88) Swedish football clubs have, however, found novel ways to subvert EU rules to their own ends. 89 The Partnership Agreement ACP-EC (as the Cotonou Agreement is formally known; or, the “Partnership Agreement between the Members of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States of the One Part and the European Community and Its Member States of the Other Part”) led to the creation of a new comprehensive partnership between the EU and 78 African, Caribbean, and Pacific nations. Signed in 2000 in Cotonou (the capital of Benin), the agreement was directed at ameliorating poverty by encouraging development and increased economic ties between the EU and the 78 other signatory states.

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