Race, ethnicity, and class issues in Fiji soccer 1980-2015

Kieran James, Yogesh Nadan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


This article explores the race and class issues which continue to define Fiji soccer and perplex its stakeholders up to the present day. Cultural hegemony is clearly present with indigenous Fijian ex-star players finding it difficult to reach positions of status in administration and management after their playing careers end; this usually condemns them to a life of village-based poverty and (from a secular western standpoint) unemployment. The Fiji-Indian community (37.5% of the total population) ‘controls’ the game, and indigenous Fijian stars are basically accepted as players but not as managers or administrators. Although deliberate racism is probably not common, the game’s culture is imbued with a ‘racial feeling’, to quote the ex-Ba and Fiji player (and Fiji-Indian) Julie Sami, and is exclusionary in its effects. Fiji-Indian stereotypes of indigenous Fijians as lazy, ill-disciplined, and prone to drunkenness mirror white stereotypes about black footballers referred to in prior literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-761
Number of pages21
JournalSoccer and Society
Issue number7
Early online date27 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2020


  • cultural hegemony
  • Fiji-Indians
  • Fiji Islands
  • Fiji soccer
  • indigenous Fijians
  • Pacific Islands
  • post-colonialism
  • soccer and race
  • stacking


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