Gesturing elsewhere and offshore memory: amateur elite soccer in the Fiji Islands, 1980-1992

Kieran James*, Yogesh Nadan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


This article studies the amateur elite National Soccer League in the Fiji Islands from 1980-1992 and the Fiji national-team’s landmark 1-0 win over Australia in 1988. We use the theoretical idea of “gesturing elsewhere,” taken from the work of popular music scholar Emma Baulch, to explain how the local Fiji soccer community receives its meaning and identity largely as the local-outpost or chapter of the global soccer scene. Therefore, a victory over the sporting powerhouse Australia boosts the self-image of the Fiji soccer world by temporarily upturning the established hierarchies. The shock 1988 win saw Fiji assigned extra credibility in the global context. We also look at the Indo-Fijian (Fijians of Indian decent) emigrant communities of the West and argue that, through their on-going love of Fiji soccer, they play a role akin to offshore memory or offshore library, cataloguing past history and revering past stars and classic contests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-40
Number of pages19
JournalSport History Review
Issue number1
Early online date10 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021


  • Fiji
  • Fiji soccer
  • football history
  • gesturing elsewhere
  • Indo-Fijians
  • offshore memory
  • Pacific Islands
  • soccer history


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