—Thailand may be known as a tourist destination;
however, it has also gain increasing popularity as a destination
for migrating football talents. With a little over two decades of
the Thailand Premier League in placed, sponsorship has driven
the league to the top in the Southeast Asian region. Over the
years, South and Central American players thrive to Thailand
in search for a club to play in, or a team to potentially coach. As
South America is home to the world’s greatest footballing
heroes, the research unveiled the push and pull factors driving
footballers to Thailand, uncovered the barriers to entry, as well
as the migration networks that assisted the systematic flow of
The research outlined that primary push factors included (1)
poor economic conditions back at home, (2) fierce competition,
and lack of opportunities to play (3) barriers to entry into a top
team of the top leagues were much higher. On the other hand,
pull factors driving players half way around the globe to
Thailand included (1) higher and stable incomes, (2) welcoming
environment, acceptance by locals, (3) affordable cost of living
and welfare available, (4) families able to migrate, (5)
experienced networks between agents and players available, (6)
convenient to send remittances back home and (6) no concerns
for safety – in comparison to other South American countries.
Considering that over 112 non-Thai players played in the
Thailand Premier League in 2012 season alone, it remains an
extremely interesting area of research to fully understand this
flow and form of labor to Thailand.
—Football, migration, sustainability,
N. Siriwat is with the Mahidol University, Thailand (e-mail:
C. Brill is with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the
Philippines (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: N. Siriwat and C. Brill, " Football, Migration and Sustainability in Thailand," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 5, no. 8, pp. 707-713, 2015.