Introduction, Background, Literature Review, evaluation, and Gaps
Football is one of the most popular sports not only in Ghana but in the region of Africa and the global society. According to Bellucci (2019), football was introduced in Ghana by European merchants in the 19th century. It gained massive popularity among the locals during a short period. In 1957, Ghana Football Associated was established to govern all football-related activities in the country (Bellucci, 2019). Although considered one of the best countries in football performance in Africa, leadership has been a challenge in this sport, partly because of heavy involvement of the political class (Acheampong et al., 2020). Such challenges threaten to derail the development of this sport at a time when local players are keen on moving to international football clubs (Betz, 2017). These issues may also affect the relationship between the national and international football governing bodies.
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Although vast research regarding the opportunities that football players have when participating in international transfers has been made, current conclusions are far too general. Consequently, applying them to the Ghanaian context would require additional assessment of the specific sociopolitical and sociocultural setting in question. Thus, the lack of information about the opportunities for Ghanaian football player and the options for international transfer require extra research to embrace the full gamut of opportunities. Specifically, the research gap in question also shows the lack of analysis of the strategies that Ghanaian football teams could use in the international setting in order to succeed.
Reasoning and Informed Justification
Football is one of the most important recreational activities that create national unity in the country at a time when socio-political and economic challenges threaten to tear apart the national fabric. The sport has been growing steadily, employing many people directly (players, coaches, referees, sports journalists, stadium managers, sports betting companies) and indirectly through sale of sportswear and other activities. However, this growth has been threatened by some of the leadership challenges that have been witnessed in the recent past. In 2014, the world football governing body (FiFa) warned Ghana of a potential ban from international activities because of government’s meddling in the activities of Ghana Football Associated (Acheampong et al., 2020). Such issues may significantly affect international player transfers if they are not effectively addressed.
Evaluation of Football Management in Ghana
The Ghana Football Association has remained as the national governing authority since 1957, as was previously mentioned. It oversees all the football activities in the country and manages finances received from the national and international bodies for the development of the sport in the country (McDougall, 2020). The management of individual teams in the country has evolved from community-based approach to the level where major teams are becoming commercial ventures. The biggest challenge in this evolution of football management in Ghana is that the political class still has entrenched interest in the management of this sport. Therefore, a significant improvement is needed to address the current state of Ghanaian football. For this reason, international games should be seen as a solution.
To research the gaps identified above, several major steps will be required. First, it will be necessary to evaluate the factors that affect the performance of Ghanaian football players in the foreign environment. For this purpose, sociocultural, sociopolitical, socioeconomic, technological, legal, and environmental concerns will have to be assessed. Namely, a literature review of the essential influences shaping the performance of Ghanaian football players will be performed. The specified step will be taken by conducting a review of the available literature on the subject matter. Followed by the analysis of specific strengths and weaknesses of Ghanaian football teams, the proposed analysis will allow determining the key opportunities and threats, as well as isolate the strategies that can be used to improve the experience of Ghanaian players in the target setting.
Additionally, the research will require collecting data related to personal perceptions of Ghanaian players of the issues faced in the target setting. The specified step will be implemented by conducting an analysis of the research data provided in the studies addressing the problems faced by international sports teams in a cross-cultural setting. Particular attention will be paid to the issues encountered by Ghanaian players. using a contextual and thematic analysis as the tools for evaluating their perceptions of the foreign setting. Thus, a more thorough understanding of the challenges that the target demographic faces in a foreign setting will be achieved.
Arguably, the proposed method of data collection will imply a certain amount of unreliability of the obtained data since it may contain subjective viewpoints and will be interpreted through the lens of the researcher, thus, opening it to additional biases. Nevertheless, the proposed framework is expected to assist in identifying key approaches for addressing the concerns faced by Ghanaian football players. Finally, data assessment with the following identification of results and suggestion of relevant strategies will be provided.
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To encompass the full extent of information to be obtained in the course of the study, a thorough understanding of the key themes emerging in the context of international sports games, in general, and football, in particular, in regard to the performance of Ghanaian players will be needed. Therefore, the qualitative research method will be implemented. Specifically, the evaluation stage will involve a comparison of the experiences lifted from the studies to be incorporated into the review. Afterward, the qualitative research will be continued by the exploration of obstacles that the target population deemed to be the ones causing most concerns and discomfort.
As emphasized above, the textual analysis of the performance outcomes in the target audiences based on the results of the studies addressing the issue at hand will be regarded as the main sources of information. The choices in question are justified by the necessity to approach the concerns under analysis both from the social perspective, which the qualitative analysis provides, and the economic, political, and cultural assessment of the proposed strategies, which the qualitative analysis of the observed themes and issues will offer. Thus, an all-embracing and detailed analysis of the key impediments that Ghanaian football players are likely to face in the context of an international sports event will be identified and addressed respectively.
Other Potential Areas
Another potential area that the research in question could examine involves the sociocultural issues that transfer players form Kenya are likely to experience in the target setting, and the means of assisting them, in addressing these impediments. Specifically, an analysis of cross-cultural misunderstandings and conflicts that occur within the target setting and the assessment of the effects that it produces on the players’ performance will be needed. Afterward, strategies for mitigating the concerns mentioned above and the tools for introducing appropriate improvements should be suggested. It is expected that delving into the analysis of the key obstacles to be faced by Ghanaian football players will allow supporting the target audience properly.
Effectiveness of the Strategies Used
The strategy that the local clubs used to acquire new players, especially through transfers, are not as effective as they would desire. It may take a long time, depending on the contract of a player, for a club to make their desired signing (George & Kwansah-Aidoo, 2017). It is an indication that many local clubs in the country are still struggling to transform into successful business ventures, as those in Europe. Using these strategies also mean it is easy for a club to loose a player to a rival team that has the capacity to sign in the player before the expiry of their contract.
International Player Transfers and Challenges
A growing number of Ghanaian players are currently moving to Europe, South America, and parts of the Middle East as a way of advancing their careers. The majority of these players are motivated by the high salaries offered by these foreign football clubs and the opportunity to play alongside and against some of the world’s best players. Such transfers often have a positive financial impact on players, their families, and the country at large. However, the process and activities involved in international player transfers is more complex than it is locally. It requires effective leadership in the local football clubs to ensure that players and their agents are empowered when it comes to negotiating international contracts and understanding laws and regulations of the new country.
One of the most common challenges that Ghanaian players face during international transfers is the new policies and tax system in the foreign country. It may take sometimes for them to understand these rules. Complex release clause makes it difficult for a player to move from one club to another before the expiry of the existing contract , as was witnessed recently in the case of Lionel Messi (Kilcline, 2019). Some players from Africa, Ghana included, have complained of racism and discrimination, both inside and outside the field, in these foreign countries primarily because of their skin color. Some personal decisions, based on an individual’s interest, may also affect the ability of a player to move from one club to another.
Strategies and Stakeholders Involved
Players and their agents are encouraged to use international lawyers, especially those from the host country, to help negotiate favorable contracts. The strategy helps in avoiding cases where players make agreements that may affect their ability to move to other clubs with ease or earn deserving salaries. These international teams are also willing to help a player to negotiate out of an unexpired contract, such as that which facilitate the movement of Christiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid (Kilcline, 2019). Sometimes these international clubs choose to have players on loan. There has been an internationally-coordinated effort by FIFA and other relevant agents to help fight racism and discrimination in football.
Promoting football in Ghana and addressing leadership and other challenges require a close coordination of different stakeholders. McDougall (2020) explains that war against vices such as racism, unfair contracts, and such other acts require involvement of relevant governments, local and international football associations such as FIFA, local football clubs, and individual players. The role of these stakeholders are discussed in details in the subsequent slides. The government has a major role to help improve football in the country. Through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the government is expected to fund some of the activities of Ghana Football Association and the Black Stars (Ghana National Football Team). It should also preside over specific activities meant to enhance integrity and commitment to success in football management.
Strategies Used to Manage Challenges During International Transfers
The strategies used by international clubs to facilitate player transfers are more effective than those used in Ghana. They effectively address cost-related challenges, primarily because these clubs have the financial strength to acquire players they want. Some of the initiatives taken by individual clubs and international football organizations have helped fight racism and discrimination. Such initiatives have created an enabling environment for players from Ghana to thrive in foreign football clubs, especially in Europe and parts of the Middle East (McDougall, 2020). The use of host-country lawyers also make it easy for these players to move easily from local clubs in Ghana to international clubs.
Football in Ghana is growing, and stakeholders need to take seriously their roles in facilitating its development. Ghana Football Association has played a good role in coordinating football activities and facilitating international transfers. However, leadership is still considered a challenge that affects its growth. Increased involvement of the political class has been identified as a major issue that needs to be addressed. The national government, the football governing authority, individual clubs, and players all have a role to play in overcoming these challenges. The international community, through FIFA, should help in addressing these challenges through policy formulation and direct financial donations.
Acheampong, E. N., Bouhaouala, M., & Raspaud, M. (2020). African footballers in Europe: Migration, community, and give back behaviors. Routledge.
Bellucci, S. (2019). General labor history of Africa. Boydell & Brewer.
Betz, K. (2017). Proving bribery, fraud and money laundering in international arbitration: On applicable criminal law and evidence. Cambridge University Press.
George, A. M., & Kwansah-Aidoo, K. (2017). Culture and crisis communication: Transboundary cases from nonwestern perspectives. John Wiley & Sons.
Kilcline, C. (2019). Sport and society in global France: Nations, migrations, corporations. Liverpool University Press.
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McDougall, A. (2020). Contested fields: A global history of modern football. University of Toronto Press.