Choosing teams: Imagining futures of diaspora through the 2018 World Cup

L. Wagner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The future of diaspora goes together with the future of diversity, and the different ways in which states and nations can reconfigure how their mobile, multifaceted members are accepted as belonging. The 2018 FIFA World Cup, like many international sporting events, crystallised some of debates about citizenship and belonging as applied to specific players and, notably for this event, to the 'fbreigri-born' men playing for the Moroccan team. Though public debates often focus on evaluating the 'belonging' of individuals who are chosen for elite events to represent the nation, that lens did not seem to be applied to the Moroccan team. By exploring how diversity and diaspora were debated in relation to players for European teams in this same tournament, I explore here how the Moroccan example represents perhaps a new direction for diaspora: one which connects descendants across multiple nations and states without character judgments about who can belong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-192
Number of pages14
JournalAfrican Diaspora
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Morocco
  • World Cup
  • belonging
  • citizenship
  • football


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