International Review for the Sociology of Sport
Dr. Donna Woodhouse and Dom Conricode
Utilising research conducted in Sheffield (UK) with people seeking asylum, this article explores the ways in which soccer might be used to create a sense of belonging in the host country. It explores participant feelings about soccer and its potential to alleviate the pressures that the status of being an ‘asylum seeker’ brings. The ways in which soccer may play a role in the identity formation of those seeking asylum is considered in relation to both self-identity and the perceptions of others. The findings of this exploratory study suggest that the various ways of interacting with soccer can provide participants with a sense of control, identity and belonging.