Creating deviance: criminality and elite amateur soccer in the Fiji Islands, 1975-2015

Kieran Edmond James*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article considers criminality within elite amateur soccer in Fiji, covering the period 1975-2015. My discussion includes examples of on-field behaviour, which breaks codes of sportsmanship, such as the ‘throwing’ of games; and off-field behaviour, such as robberies of jewelry stores committed by one prominent ex-player. This same ex-player also escapes police while warming up for a match on the pitch. We see the ex-player involved interpreting his own conduct, 25-30 years after the fact, in a way suggestive of existentialist or Foucauldian ethics. But his now assistant village headman status gives an implicit Kantian moral force to his arguments. Crucially, the article emphasizes the key distinction between village and town space and between village mores and town-based (criminal) laws.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-203
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Applied Sociology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022


  • critical criminology
  • ethics of sport
  • Fiji Islands
  • Fiji soccer
  • Kant
  • race and class
  • symbolic interactionism


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