OFFSIDE -project researches the obstacles, challenges and opportunities faced by young people with immigrant backgrounds in their football hobbies.

Although the importance of sports to integration and immigrant inclusion is widely recognized, there is only a little amount of studied information on the mechanisms and pain points of integration through sports.

OFFSIDE -project addresses this knowledge gap by researching the forms of inclusion and exclusion faced by young people with immigrant backgrounds in football and the social and societal impact of sport hobbies.

The project interviews young people with immigration backgrounds who play football either in a club or on their own free time and observes their involvement in their football hobby. In addition, the project surveys the views of junior football coaches using an online survey.

Exploring the barriers and opportunities encountered in social environments in sports generates much-needed information on the causes of exclusion from physical activity and will help develop more effective approaches to increase youth mobility.

More information


Marko Kananen

Accountable manager


Kari Saari



Jussi Ronkainen



OFFSIDE - Immigrant Youth and Football

1 September 2019 – 31 August 2022

Project partners

Lead partner: South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences - Xamk

Focus areas: Sustainable wellbeing
Xamk Research Units: Juvenia


Total budget: € 427 000

Financiers and main source of funding: Ministry of Education and Culture Sports Science Research Project

Index terms