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The Global Nature of Sports

The concept of the global nature of sport refers to those events where athletes can represent more than one country. Many athletic events are international in nature. They include the FIFA World Cup, the Olympic, and the Paralympic Games. Their international nature is as a result of globalization. In football, for instance, the immense change witnessed in the society due to increasing interconnectedness at cultural, social, and economic levels has made this form of sport to the same from one place to another. Football has also been a driver of globalization due to its international nature. This is portrayed in its global nature given that it is one of the largest sports in the world. Over the years, it has incorporated more international sporting bodies. The growth in the number of continental tournaments has also contributed to a rise in migratory flows as players move from one country to another (Frick, 2009).

In football, the international nature of this sport is well sported by FIFA eligibility rules that govern international competitions as stipulated in the FIFA’s statutes. The general principle states that a person holding a permanent nationality of a given country and that does not depend on residence qualifies to play for a team representing that country (Fédération Internationale de Football Association, 2016). There are several players that have appeared for more than one country. They include Jermaine Jones who played for Germany in 2008 and the US from 2010 to 2017. Nacer Chadli played for Morocco in 2010. He has also been playing for Belgium since 2011 to present.

Football serves as a good example of the global nature of sports given that it involves clubs and leagues that operate beyond the physical boundaries of one country. The majority of the clubs in the world have invested a lot of money to facilitate a global recruitment strategy. Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea among other clubs have several international players. Therefore, it is the football players that have contributed significantly to the global nature of this sport. The global nature of football gained momentum in 1995 following the Bosman ruling that removed the acquisition of players out of contract with their teams (Binder & Findlay, 2012). Moreover, the previous quotas that restricted the number of foreign players were also rendered illegal. The move helped to ease international player mobility as the number of local players in most domestic leagues decreased significantly.The Global Nature of Sports

Today, football clubs and teams across the globe use international players due to their sporting abilities in addition to helping them build a brand. During this year’s FIFA World Cup, there were many players playing for one country that fans in other countries could identify with because they also played for their clubs. Examples of such players are Neymar and Lionel Messi. Although Messi plays for Argentina, he has also been acquired by the Spanish club FC Barcelona. Neymar plays for the same club in addition to being a Brazilian professional footballer. It should be noted that despite the global nature of football as a result of its commercialization and globalization, local player proportion still accounts for a significant proportion of players during various tournaments.The Global Nature of Sports





Binder, J. J., & Findlay, M. (2012). The effects of the Bosman ruling on national and club teams in Europe. Journal of Sports Economics, 13(2), 107-129.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association. (2016). FIFA statutes.

Frick, B. (2009). Globalization and Factor Mobility: The Impact of the“Bosman-Ruling”on Player Migration in Professional Soccer. Journal of Sports Economics, 10(1), 88-106.