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The relationship between sport and politics


Well-known member
May 8, 2009
To expand on the theme of the Di Canio thread, my contention would be that the two domains are inextricably linked, but because sport doesn't directly influence politics (bar Berlusconi), it largely reflects the concerns of contemporary society. Thus, the Irish cultural revival transmitted itself in the growth of GAA and the resultant curb on soccer and rugby before independence, Northern society remains delineated by sporting allegiance and French Basque and Catalan identity is expressed through rugby in the absence of political autonomy. But soccer's working-class origins is most emblematic of social concerns, thus La Liga has always had strong teams from the significant regional communities, the Northern Italy/Mezziogiorno divide becomes evident in the division of Serie A honours, and the political nature of English football dissipated through gentrification and party convergence. Finally, the protests by Al Ahly fans in Egypt, along with fan culture in Iran demonstrate that political authorities view the game as a means of containing tension, but it can still be utilised as a forum for dissent.


Well-known member
Feb 14, 2011
panem et circenses.

… Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses
Juvenal, Satire 10.77–81

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