African Countries Taking A Bigger Piece Of The $6.5 Billion Global Soccer Transfers Market

By Jonathan Ntege Lubwama

  • Three African countries, Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast are in the top 10 globally for soccer transfers at $104.2M, $17.4M and $38.3M respectively
  • Women’s soccer has also benefited from this growth with transfers increasing by 22%

Three African countries are listed among the top 10 globally in the number of soccer transfers made, shifting the paradigm of this $6.5 billion market. The 2022 FIFA Global Transfer Report found that West African powerhouses: Nigeria amassed $104.2 million worth of sales, while Ghana and Ivory Coast had $17.4 million and $38.3 million respectively. At the club level, $71.2 million worth of player transfers was recorded.

Why This Matters: Soccer, or football as it’s known in the rest of the world, is by far the most popular sport globally with billions of fans. In Africa, it is overwhelmingly the biggest sport in almost every country. Nigeria and Ghana ranked 5th and 8th globally, while Ivory Coast, whose national team is known as the Elephants, came in 9th on the transfers market list.

Football matches featuring African nations cause a standstill in most cities. Even those not involving African teams, like the Premier League and Champions League are a huge spectacle. For the most part, football has been largely a social activity and not commercialized. That’s changing as Nigeria recorded 725 transfers in 2022, while Ghana had 515 and Ivory Coast had 428. 

What’s Next: The hope is that Africans continue benefiting from the sport financially. Also, it’s not just men’s football that is rapidly becoming commercialized. As per the same report, the number of women’s football clubs that got involved in international transfers went up from 410 in 2021 to 500 in 2022, with East Africa leading the way. The potential for football in terms of commercialization in Africa is huge with such a large customer base.

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