1st Edition

Continental Perspectives on the Geopolitical Economy of Football

Edited By Simon Chadwick, Paul Widdop, Michael M. Goldman Copyright 2025
    336 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    336 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores continental perspectives on football's new geopolitical economy, examining how sport, politics, and the global economy have emerged in different parts of the world. 

    Against a backdrop of international conflict and the rise of powerful new state actors in world sport, the book delves into countries and cases that explore how football investments and events have become instruments of soft power and industrial development, and how football plays an increasingly significant role in global politics and international relations. Featuring the work of leading researchers from around the globe, and case studies from five continents, the book addresses key contemporary issues in world sport. It examines the Gulf States’ investments in European football, the debates around ‘sportwashing’ and human rights, the rise of sports in the politics and cultural relations of China and India, and football’s complex relationship with migration and identity in Africa and Latin America. The book also considers the seismic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the geopolitics of football, the shifting landscape of football governance in Europe, the rise of Major League Soccer and the ‘Messi effect,’ and how the emergence of China and India as global economic superpowers is mirrored in their vision for their domestic football leagues. Additionally, the book highlights the role of FIFA and its commercial partners and stakeholders as key geopolitical actors on the world stage. 

    This is essential reading for anyone interested in sport, political economy, international politics, globalization, or development.

    1. Introduction

    Simon Chadwick, Paul Widdop and Michael M. Goldman 

    Part I: Africa 

    2. Trickle-Down Effects of the African “Super” League on Domestic Leagues

    Manase Kudzai Chiweshe and Gerald Dandah

    3. Building a Globally Impactful and Admired Football Academy:  Lessons from Right to Dream

    Kwame J. A. Agyemang

    4. Perspectives on African Football: How Football’s Soft Power Serves as a Catalyst for Africa’s Growth and Global Influence

    Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya

    5. Algeria Conquering Sports as a Soft Power Tool

    Brahim Kas

    6. Language and Ethnicity in the Afro-Arab Cup: The Atlas Lions

    Hisham Aidi 

    Part II: Asia 

    7. Unlocking India’s Potential in International Football

    Mohit Anand and Treesha Lall

    8. Korea-Japan-China Trilateral Football Relationship and K League (Still) in Midst of Organizational Identity Formation

    Seungbum Lee

    9. Japan Football Diplomacy

    Donna Wong and Ricardo F. Ramos

    10. The Rise and Fall of Chinese Football in a Time of Geopolitical Change

    Jonathan Sullivan and Tobias Ross

    11. Critical Drivers for Chinese Super League's Soft Power Comeback

    Ricardo Gúdel, Emilio Hernández-Correa and Javier Pajares 

    Part III: Europe 

    12. Towards a Geopolitical Economy of Scottish Football: An Introduction

    Grant Jarvie

    13. Stadiums, Fandom and ‘Disneyization’ in Barcelona: Debates Around the Professional Football Industry

    Xavier Ginesta and Carles Viñas

    14. Exploring the Relationship Between the English Premier League and the Global Empire of Gambling Marketing

    Jamie Wheaton

    15. Can Accounting Help to Put Fans at the Heart of English Football?

    Mark Middling and Stephen Morrow 

    Part IV: Latin America 

    16. Violence, Politics and Identity: Football in Buenos Aires

    Jim O’Brien and Nahuel Ivan Faedo

    17. Football's Geopolitical Influence on Argentina-Bangladesh Relations: From the Pitch to Policy

    Nahuel Ivan Faedo

    18. Globalizing Brazilian Football: The Impact of SAF and the Professional League

    Luís Henrique Rolim and Vinícius de Freitas Soares

    19. Culture, Politics, and Social Struggle in Brazilian Football

    Nathalia Vicentini Aguiar 

    Part V: Middle East 

    20. The Geopolitical Economy of Football in the Middle East

    Mahdi Shariati Feizabadi and Pascal Courty

    21. The Competitive Advantage of Gulf Nations in Asian Football

    Matthias Krug

    22. Football for Development Through the Generation Amazing Foundation:  One Million Reasons More than Just Geopolitics

    Davies Banda, Christos Anagnostopoulos, Kamilla Swart-Arries and Nasser Al-Khori

    23. Lights, Camera, Sponsorship, and Geopolitics at the World Cup in Qatar

    Timothy Dewhirst

    24. Football, Diversification and Diplomacy in the UAE

    Leonardo Jacopo Maria Mazzucco and Kristian Patrik Alexander

    25. Geopolitics and Israeli Football: New Generations, Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities

    Yoav Dubinsky

    26. Saudi Arabia – Opportunity or Disruptive Threat?

    Neill Wood

    27. The Limits of Soft Power when Football, Politics, Religion, Secularism, and Geopolitics Collide: The Case of the “Unplayed” 2023 Turkish Super Cup Final in Saudi Arabia

    Steven H. Seggie

    28. An Analysis of Iranian Women's Football Events Development: Beyond the Green Pitch

    Soufiya Rezatab and Simon Chadwick

    29. The Economic Dynamics of Turkish Football Broadcasting: From Neoliberal Policies to Controversial Tenders

    Cem Tinaz, Emin Oğuz Inci and Elçin Istif Inci 

    Part VI: North America 

    30. Marginalizing Fans Through Supply and Demand Logics: The Messi Effect and Major League Soccer Profiteering

    Jeffrey W. Kassing and Lindsey J. Meân

    31. Foreign Investment in Major League Soccer Franchises: New York's Absentee Landlords

    David Kilpatrick

    32. Radio Broadcasting, Football and Reconciliation Between Brazil and USA: Intertwining Sports Relationships

    Marco Roxo and Helcio Herbert Neto

    33. Iran and US Football Diplomacy Behind the Political Sanctions: Mother of FIFA Matches

    Mahdi Shariati Feizabadi and Fernando Delgado


    Simon Chadwick is Professor of Sport and Geopolitical Economy at Skema Business School, France. Chadwick’s work focuses on sport’s geopolitical economy. He has worked extensively with some of the most prominent people and organisations in the sport industry, including Formula E and several F1 drivers and teams. 

    Paul Widdop is Reader at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. His research explores social and economic networks around the consumption and production of sport. He has published widely in the areas of sport and culture including articles in the Journal of Consumer CultureCultural SociologyCultural TrendsElectoral Studies, and the Journal of Political Marketing. Widdop serves on the editorial board of several academic journals and is co-founder of the Football Collective, a learned society of academics researching impacts of football on society. 

    Michael M. Goldman is Professor with the Sport Management Program at the University of San Francisco, USA, while also working with the Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa. He works with students, managers, and clients to enhance their abilities to acquire, grow, and retain profitable customers and fans.