Sport and immigration

Africa e Mediterraneo n. 84 (1/16)

Football pitches, gyms, and sports halls are places for communal living and dialogue, where physical exercise not only strengthens the body but also relationships.

Even today, news reports on the numerous cases of racism, among which that of Balotelli is the most well-known, demonstrate how these meeting places can become environments of discrimination and/or cultural claim.

The challenge of the latest dossier of Africa e Mediterraneo “Sport and Immigration” carried out as part of the Bologna cares! campaign, is to move beyond stereotypes, clichés, and to explore socio-cultural practises which dictate the everyday reality of migrants, paying particular attention to the social bonds which are created and regenerated during moments of free time devoted to sporting activities. Several papers critically analyse the sporting events which are open to cultural diversity, and which are becoming more and more common in a country, Italy, where for decades foreign athletes or descendants of foreigners have been banned from sport. On the other hand, today’s football scene, one of the most thriving industries on the planet, still sees cases of minimisation and trivialisation during unfortunately recurrent episodes of discrimination and racism.

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