Thursday, 15 August 2013

Fascism and Football


 Football or "soccer" for American readers is very serious business. From punch ups in the car park outside a pub with Sky sports to pitch invasions across the world the game has ignited passions and sadly those passions tend to be expressed quite negatively. As a Grimsby Town supporter (not fan, supporter) for a few years I think that's a shame because there's a lot of good things football does that doesn't get much attention because the negatives are so graphic.

Unfortunately those positives, bringing people together, instilling some pride in yourselves and your "team" getting people active and passionate for 90 minutes has made football a very attractive tool for some shady forces. Nowadays every club no matter how small will have adverts plastered everywhere trying to get to buy something (anything no matter how irrelevant it is to football). But in Dictatorships football has also been used to sell the official ideology and loyalty to the regime. And the lengths that the authorities will go to (bribery, threats, murder) show how important a tool of social control the beautiful game can be.



Perhaps the most blatant use of football as a pillar of propaganda was by the Fascist regimes, Italy, Germany and Spain put a lot of resources into football, even building their own clubs from the ground up like Real Madrid and using secret police to rig games up to the international level.



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2 comments:

  1. The contributions of the local historian in the film Dieter Previn, who points out "...that was the hallway, this was his bathroom" without question make for some of the most interesting and scholarly relevant insights I have ever heard on film.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What is that guy a historian of locally? I don't know why they booked that guy but I would have rather had the old man who knew Schindler go thru his apartment and talk about him rather than having someone walk around the place and point out a toilet.

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