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Gross national income, football workers and national football team performances: A logistic regression analysis

Peter Omondi-Ochieng (University of Louisiana, Lafayette , Louisiana, USA)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Article publication date: 12 October 2015




This study aims to examine the association between national economic prosperity (measured by per capita gross national income – GNI) and the acquisition of football workers (indicated by number of amateur footballers, football officials and professional footballers) and predict football performances (specified by qualifications at continental football championships) based on per capita GNI and football workers.


Archival data of 203 national football teams were utilized based on continental football championship records before 2014. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to build various models to ascertain their predictive values. Economically prosperous nations are those with a per capita GNI of more than US$10,000, and unprosperous nations are those with per capita GNI of less than US$10,000.


The analysis indicated that per capita GNI was significantly and positively associated with the acquisition of football workers – but not predictive of football performance. Rather football officials and professionals emerged to be the key predictors of football performance and not per capita GNI. The final model predicted 73.1 and 74.2 per cent of performance and non-performance, respectively, of national football teams correctly.

Research limitations

The findings were largely restricted to quantitative archival data for the last continental championships. However, future research may benefit from using qualitative interviews, questionnaires and or ethnographic studies of players, teams and or managers.

Practical implications

The results revealed that economic prosperity positively influences the acquisition of football resources (here – in football workers). Specifically, targeted production of football workers, such as the acquisition of a large number of effective professional footballers and officials, can boost football performance – and not merely economic prosperity.


Actual football-specific human capital (and not general population) was used in predicting continental football qualifications – a factor uncommon in such studies.



Omondi-Ochieng, P. (2015), "Gross national income, football workers and national football team performances: A logistic regression analysis", Team Performance Management, Vol. 21 No. 7/8, pp. 405-420.



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