On the pitch the World Cup has offered a snapshot of global migration. It’s a different story in the stands
While migrant communities feature heavily among the 32 squads, racial homogeneity is the order of the day for the coaching staffs and supporters
The ethnic makeups of the 32 squads at the World Cup reflect the sedimentary layers of global migration over the last 500 years. The European colonial destruction of indigenous Americans gives us the almost wholly European squads of Chile, Argentina and Mexico; Australia can be considered an Oceanic version of this.
In much of the hemisphere conquest was followed by massive importation of African slave labour, which accounts for the African-European mix of Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Colombia, Uruguay and the United States; though in the case of America, Latinos constitute an ethnic category of their own. Across the continent football remains a zone of social mobility for poor and immigrant youth. In the case of Ecuador, African-Ecuadorians make up just 6% of the population but almost the entire squad […]
In all of these countries the changing makeup of the national team has served as both an optimistic emblem of successful integration and a lightning rod for accusations of inauthenticity; who does and does not sing the national anthem before the games has become a touchstone of citizenship for many far-right commentators.
In the last two decades new flows of refugees and economic migrants into Europe have made their footballing mark: Italy’s first black international and undisputed star Mario Balotelli; a Swiss side that is almost two-thirds of migrant descent; players of African-German and African-Spanish roots. By contrast, the teams from farther east – Bosnia, Croatia, Russia and Greece – though they have their own internal ethnic complexities – are white […]
Whatever they might represent, professional footballers are hardly struggling migrants themselves. They are part of a high-skill, high-pay global labour market, one that can also be found in financial and professional services. The four west African teams – Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast – have just six of their 92 players at domestic clubs and four of those are goalkeepers.
Citizenship is negotiable. Croatia and Spain have acquired Brazilians Eduardo and Diego Costa respectively. Only the English and the Russians, neither terribly successful football migrants, play overwhelmingly at home in their rich domestic leagues.
Given that the playing fields of the 2014 World Cup provide such a brilliant picture of the ethnic diversity and complexity of the world, it is not clear that the same can be said of the crowds or the coaching staff. Dutchman Patrick Kluivert is one of the very few black faces on a European coach’s bench. No Latin American team has a manager of African or indigenous origins. Ghana and Nigeria have opted for local coaches but Cameroon and Ivory Coast have Europeans in charge.
Fifa has been investigating a few small incidents of racist chanting among Argentineans and Mexicans and the presence of extreme-right, even fascist, banners among the Croatian and Russian contingents. But, more significantly, none of the travelling bands of fans seem to share the ethnic diversity of their teams. It is hard to conduct a reasonable demographic survey from the highly selective television coverage of the games in Brazil, but the host crowd appeared overwhelmingly white and the huge Colombian presence equally so. I suspect the same could be said of the Europeans […]
read all: the Guardian
a versão portuguesa: A pluralidade étnica incompleta da Copa do Mundo