The media are seen as the most important arena of the public debate and it is assumed that social reactions are strongly influenced by meaningfulness processes that take place within this arena. The media offer a platform for people who want to raise social issues and convince others of their ideas, whether these evoke negative or positive perceptions. This thesis researches the reporting in Dutch newspapers about the contested dual nationality of Dutch-Moroccan football players who have to choose which national team they want to play for. Football has been the most important popular sport in the Netherlands for a hundred years already. It has grown into a social phenomenon with a gigantic social network. More than just a sport, football is becoming a mirror of – multicultural – Dutch society. This society includes people from various nationalities and holders of dual nationality. People with a Dutch passport gain the Dutch nationality by birth, obtained it via the jus sanguinis rule or the jus soli rule. This means respectively gaining nationality through descent from one or both parents, or nationality gained through birth in a certain territory. The Dutch-Moroccan football players in this thesis are born in the Netherlands and thus have the Dutch nationality based on the jus soli rule. Due to the Moroccan law, they have the Moroccan passport as well, based on their blood ties to relatives that are born in Morocco. Having dual nationality raises doubts about their loyalty, as the Dutch political debate argues that people with dual nationalities can’t be loyal to both of their countries. This is even more so when, as in the case of footballers, citizens with dual nationality become representatives of the country, as they are the embodiment of the symbolization of the nation. This contested issue gained more attention over the past twenty years, caused by the rise of an anti-immigrant attitude of politicians as Pim Fortuyn and Geert Wilders. The political arena is conveying a negative image of dual nationality, this is becoming more negative in the last decade. By means of a case study research of the Dutch-Moroccan footballers Dries Boussatta, Ibrahim Afellay and Hakim Ziyech, this thesis looked at how the attitude towards their dual nationality and loyalty has changed over the past twenty years. In this, their choice whether to play for the Dutch or Moroccan team is taken into account. Additionally, the results of this study show if dual nationality and loyalty are, just like in the political debate, becoming more intense reported in the newspapers.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Dual citizenship, Nationality, Loyalty, Identity, Dutch-Moroccan footballers
Thesis Advisor G. Oonk
Persistent URL
Series Maatschappijgeschiedenis / History of Society
T. Tienstra. (2019, July 2). Dual citizenship, one goal Football nationality choices of Dutch-Moroccan football players in Dutch media, 1998-2019. Maatschappijgeschiedenis / History of Society. Retrieved from