Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law

Ini-Obong is a researcher who is passionate about football in general, and African football in particular. He has undertaken significant research on the trafficking of African football minors across the globe, and has proffered several recommendations in a bid to curb the problem. An often repeated tagline of his is “you cannot legislate against international inequality”, and it is to this effect that Ini-Obong’s research has centred on the use of football as an agent for sustainable long-term community development in African countries. This is in order to limit the continued occurrence of football trafficking whilst simultaneously improving the standard of African football.

Ini-Obong has published his research in academic journals such as the African Sports Law and Business Journal, and he has also written mainstream articles for The Conversation and Sport Cal, and he contributed to the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Sport, Human Rights and Modern Slavery inquiry into the impact of mega-sporting events on human rights. Ini-Obong has appeared on international television to discuss the regulatory issues around football trafficking, he has been invited to attend and present his research at several Law conferences across the UK, and he has participated in virtual multi-disciplinary conferences with a global audience to discuss his area of research and publicise his recommendations for countering football trafficking.

Ini-Obong concluded his PhD in Sports Law at Nottingham Trent University, and this was after he completed his LL.B (Hons.) at the University of Kent, and returned to his home country to qualify as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Ini-Obong was the module leader and lecturer of the Data Protection and Privacy masters module at Nottingham Trent University. Ini-Obong has experience working as a Legal Practitioner at a Law firm in Nigeria, and he also has legal work experience in the UK, after putting himself forward to be a Student Adviser for the Business and Enterprise law and Employment law services within Nottingham Law School’s Legal Advice Centre.

Find out more about Ini
Area of expertise
  • Sports law
  • Sports business
  • Children’s rights
  • International Human rights
  • Data Protection and Privacy
Teaching & research interests
  • Sports law
  • Sports business
  • Intellectual Property law
  • Human rights
  • Competition law
  • Commercial law
  • International labour migration
  • PhD Sports Law – Nottingham Trent University
  • LL.M Masters of Laws - Nottingham Trent University
  • BL Barrister at Law - Nigerian Law School
  • LL.B (Hons.) Bachelors of Laws – University of Kent
Publications & research
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, “Factors Leading to the Trafficking and Exploitation of African Minors in Football” (August 2019) Article published by Hackney Publications, Sports Litigation Alert, Volume 16, Issue 16.
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, “How the search for football’s next big thing is fuelling a modern-day slave trade” (August 2019) published in The Conversation.
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, “Modern Slavery: The trafficking of African minors to European football leagues” (July 2019) Published by the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sport, Human Rights, and Modern Slavery.
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, “Football is for hope, for joy, for peace, and for … trafficking?” (June 2019) Opinion piece published on Sociology Lens.
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, Ini-Obong Nkang, “Tackling modern slavery in soccer” (May 2019) Opinion piece published on
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, “The Push-Pull Dynamics in Football Labour Migration and Football Trafficking”, African Sports Law and Business Journal (October 2018)
    Conference paper presentations and TV interview.
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, “Factors Leading to the Trafficking and Exploitation of African Minors in Football” Paper presented at the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) conference, University of Central Lancashire (September 2019), and at the University of Edinburgh’s PGR Conference (February 2020).
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, Trafficking? In Football? … Yes! (April 2019) Paper and poster presented at the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference, University of Leeds, UK.
  • Ini-Obong Nkang, “Soccer quest drives human trafficking” interviewed by Anne-Marie Green, CBS News, August 2019.
Expertise in industry
  • Barrister at Law in a common law jurisdiction
  • Law Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University
  • Recognised for impact within the field, and asked to contribute on panel at a SIGA conference, which is the world’s largest, independent, neutral, global coalition in the field of sports governance & integrity