Policy makers in the Netherlands and elsewhere have increasingly put their faith in sports in general and especially club-based sports activities as an easy and effective tool for creating and maintaining cohesion in an ethnically heterogeneous society. Various studies, however, have hinted towards the limits of using sports activities and clubs for interethnic mixing. Using a unique and comprehensive dataset of amateur football club memberships over ten years, this paper investigates to what extent ethnic groups are unequally distributed over clubs in the Netherlands’ most popular organised sport. The results show that despite the wide popularity of club membership across ethnic groups, there exists a substantial amount of ethnic segregation between clubs. I conclude that sports, even when widely popular, face limitations in their potential to bring people of different backgrounds together and that while organised sports prove to be a fruitful case for further research on ethnic homophily and interethnic relations, we should also temper and carefully (re)consider our expectations of its use for social integration.
Literatuurverwijzing: Haaften, A.F. van (2019). Do birds of a feather play football together? A study on ethnic segregation in Dutch amateur football. European Journal of Sport and Society