David Storey博士是冰球突破官网地理学的首席讲师. In this Academic Blog he explores how international football can shine a light on the complex nature of national identity:

最近在喀麦隆举行的非洲国家杯决赛, almost one third of the players participating were born in a country other than the one they were playing for. 这些球员绝大多数出生在欧洲, 在法国有超过100个, 还有一些来自西班牙的, 葡萄牙, 英格兰, 比利时和其他地方. Teams such as that of the 科摩罗群岛 are composed mostly of French-born players of Comoran descent. 



早在2018年,法国队赢得了男子足球世界杯, it led to joyous scenes of flag-waving 而且 public displays of national euphoria throughout the country. 在巴黎举行的胜利庆祝活动中,球员们的照片被转播到电视上 凯旋门. These images were accompanied by the names of the places in France where each member of the team grew up. 然而, the backgrounds of the players reveal a much more complex 而且 geographically 而且 culturally diverse picture that extends well beyond the borders of France. 大多数球员与一些非洲国家有密切的家庭关系. 2021年欧洲男子锦标赛, 参赛国家中有13个国家的足球运动员与非洲有家庭关系. A total of 57 players involved in the tournament could have elected to play for an African country. 通过这种方式, it could be suggested that 26 African countries were ‘represented’ at the finals of this European competition. 



 All this highlights just some of the ways through which sport is inextricably entwined with issues of citizenship, 国籍和移民, 提出了归属感和文化亲和力的问题. 这些问题构成了我最近一本书的主题(足球,地域和国家认同. 转移的忠诚), which focuses on international representation in men’s football 而且 the identity choices made by players who are eligible to play for two or more countries. Increasing flexibility of regulations governing international eligibility in sport means that countries can potentially select from a considerably wider pool of talent, 利用不同种族的玩家, 与国家的文化或居住联系, 不仅仅是那些出生在那里的人. This broadening of sporting citizenship has led to an increasing prevalence of what has been termed ‘nationality swapping’.

International representative teams appear to be becoming more trans-national with players born outside that country, 但通常都有家族关系, 身披国旗. 出生地、家庭出身和居住地可以用来扩大玩家群体. From the point of view of national footballing associations there is a desire to select the strongest possible team. This involves using the regulations in order to capture talent that may have been born 而且 raised elsewhere. 而法国队则聘请了出生于非洲国家但在法国长大的球员, 最近, 如前所述, this trend has been reversed with many African countries selecting European-born players whose family origins lie in Africa, 从而收回了他们广泛的移民社区的一些后代. 通过这种方式, historical colonial relationships 而且 associated migration flows provide the backdrop to the more eclectic nature of national representative teams.  在其他地方, countries such as the Republic of Irel而且 have long relied on the extensive Irish community in Britain to broaden the pool of available footballing talent. 为足球运动员自己和其他运动员, 家庭背景为他们提供了体育公民身份的选择. 



这些国籍的转换揭示了种族和国家认同的复杂性. 支持者对这一现象的反应, media 而且 those involved in sport range from narrow essentialist 而且 exclusionary views of national identity through to those which might be seen as more progressive, 包容和灵活, 尽管在某些情况下是出于体育实用主义. 对于一些, 对国家忠诚度的这些明显转变,最好的描述是迁就, in which the more varied backgrounds of sportspeople are seen as either a pragmatic way of enlarging the available pool of talent 而且/or of widening the ethno-cultural underst而且ing of the nation. 对另一些人来说,对这种现象有不同程度的不情愿或抗拒. 在某些情况下, this appears linked to a narrow conceptualisation of the nation 而且 a concern that its purity is being diminished. 然而,一些观察家可能更喜欢用简单的非此即彼的术语来看待身份, 对许多人来说,现实要复杂得多. Reducing the multi-layered backgrounds of the players to a singular identity makes little sense.

不管玩家的感受和动机, the declaration of a sporting nationality that may differ from an ‘official’ one reinforces the need to see identities as fluid, 灵活和偶然的,而不是固定和不变的. The way in which international football is framed means players have to choose a national identity, 尽管改变这一决定的可能性仍然存在. 但出于体育目的,必须在公众场合使用单一身份, 这并不是说这完全反映了个人的感觉身份.


 更广泛地说, these questions of sporting representation draw attention to varying forms of citizenship in which some people might be seen to be more closely connected to a country than others. They also shed light on the ways in which international footballers (而且 other sportspeople) negotiate their citizenship while juggling their career concerns, 自我意识, 以及家族联系. 而不是一个“标准”的公民概念, 对于某些玩家来说,在地理位置上的选择更加多样化. 出生地之间的复杂联系, residency 而且 ancestry need to be considered rather than reducing this to a singular idea of citizenship. 玩家的身份空间可以将他们与多个国家联系起来, pointing to a need to explore the ways in which individual identities may be entwined with multiple places transcending the confines of the bounded nation-state.



The declaration of a sporting nationality that may differ from an ‘official’ one casts light on ideas of cultural hybridity 而且 highlights the need to see identities as somewhat more fluid 而且 flexible. 曾经看似相对简单的事情现在变得更加复杂了, 远离狭隘的单一民族意识. 足球, 因此, provides much scope for an exploration of themes of identity at various spatial scales - national, 区域和本地. International sport provides a particularly useful lens through which to explore the intersections between geographical concepts of territory 而且 place 而且 how these intersect with senses of national identity.  

Dr 大卫·层的 研究和教学兴趣涵盖领土和身份的各个方面, 运动和场所, 农村变革与发展. 他在这些主题上发表了大量文章, 包括他最近出版的书, ‘足球,地域和国家认同: Transferring Allegiance’ (published 2021) 而且 has delivered papers at various international conferences.