Watching the FIFA World Cup 2010 in England: the sojourner perspective
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Journal: Leisure Studies
Recent years have seen an emergence of a varied academic literature focused on the football fan, with a wealth of studies exploring issues such as hooliganism, fan behaviour and fan identification. No research, however, has documented the experiences and perspectives of the international sojourner, who follows the televised tournament far away from the home country. This paper offers a contribution to the literature on fandom by focusing on the experiences of becoming a temporary fan among a sample of nine international students in England during the period of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It shows the importance of the tournament for students away from their home nation, acting as a point of celebration and as a means of bringing sojourners of the same nationality together to support their team. It reveals how the tournament offered escape from stress, became a focal point for social interaction, provided the opportunity for recreation of home, and for the reinforcement of feelings of national identity. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.