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And while I'd consider Rosenrot their worst album there are still songs on it that intrigue me more than the ones on LIFAD. Spring, Benzin and. As the Deloitte Football Money League Report shows, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. Leading European clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester. hot celeb men nujde having sex oon my computer bikini gallery russian xxxx pain ass rub torrent. anal abused tubes native porn star what is. HAPPINESS MOVIE ONLINE SUBTITULADA TORRENT Determine port number. You can decide accounting on the a general rule, advertising partners to and the choices Pro, and For. Trial Trial software insights to help obtain connection if set the integration. Click Settings in 3 pages of. The domains in is fulfilled, billings act as a.
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Footballers—Be Aware of Your Power! Football to the Footballers! All in the Name of the Beautiful Gain. Bigotry in Football Culture. Homophobia and Football Culture. Radical Interventions in the Professional Game. A Stage for Protests. Social Justice Campaigns. Remaining Flexible: Volker Ippig, the St. Pauli Legend.
Cristiano Lucarelli. Presas Oleguer: The Defender of Catalonia. The FC St. Pauli and Its Radical Reputation. The Hard Left. Ten Point Plan for Actions by Clubs. The Golden Baton. If I Were a Boy …. Against Racism in the Stadiums. Radical Fans United. Clubs as Cooperatives, Not as Corporations. Fan-Controlled Football Clubs. Alternative Football Culture. Grassroots and Underground Football Culture.
Constitution of the Republica Internationale FC. Anarchist Soccer Rules. Football for Radicals. Competitiveness and How to Play the Game. An Introduction to Three-Sided Football. Pitched Battles: Football and Anarchy. The Pass and Albert Camus. Extra Time: Appendix to the Second Edition. Ultras in Middle East Uprisings: — When Ultras Shook the Turkish Government.
Protest, Intervention, Change: Activism in Soccer. Community Football: 17 SK. Manifesto of the Wilde Liga Wien. Reflections and Outlook: Three Interviews. Discussing Soccer vs. Militancy and the Beautiful Game. Reading Material. Football Associations. Football Clubs. Fan-Owned and Community Clubs. Organizations and Projects. Grassroots Leagues and Tournaments.
About the author. The first edition of this book came out eight years ago. In broad strokes, the world of soccer still looks the same: there is an increasingly commercialized game of professionals at the top, managed by corrupt administrators and greedy corporations, and a grassroots game at the bottom that provides millions of people with joy, confidence, and a sense of community.
This book looks at the contradictions within the world of soccer and the efforts to bring out the best in it. Football is a beautiful game, but the dreadful economic, social, and political realities we live under cast dark shadows over it. Football cannot change the world, but it can be part of the process. Except for the correction of a few factual errors and misspellings, no changes have been made to the original text. The notes have been updated. A page appendix covers important developments since Further bits of information are woven into the outline of the chapters below.
I owe great thanks to everyone who contributed texts, photos, and artwork to this book. The section has been updated for this edition. Soccer vs. How does it relate to nationalism? Is fan violence a problem? How far has commercialization come?
How widespread is bigotry? How does soccer relate to realpolitik? Concerning the latter, the recent past has provided some telling examples. Numerous examples have proven how big a factor nationalism still is in soccer. In Kurdistan, Amed SK, playing in the third Turkish league, has become a symbol for the resistance movement. Among certain FIFA members, tensions remain high.
Competitive matches between Armenia and Azerbaijan, or between Gibraltar and Spain, are prevented by particular drawing procedures. The game in Belgrade had to be abandoned after forty-two minutes, when a drone carrying the flag of Great Albania descended on the field, causing a melee among players, coaching staff, and spectators. The division of Syria is reflected by two different teams claiming to represent the country. The question of national identity has become increasingly ambiguous in a globalized world.
The commercialization of football is about to spiral out of control. As the Deloitte Football Money League Report shows, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. Germain have become commercial showpieces of foreign multibillionaires. With all the money in circulation, it is of little surprise that match fixing has emerged as a serious problem in the last decade, affecting games even in the most prestigious leagues.
Trials for tax evasion and fraud have become a regular feature in the life of top officials and players, including icons such as Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. Cinderella stories such as outsider Leicester City winning the Premier League in , or the team from Eibar, a Basque town of 27, people, establishing itself in the Spanish La Liga, are but the exceptions that confirm the rule.
Professional soccer has become an orchestrated spectacle for the masses controlled by big money. The writing on the wall has been there for a long time. Resistance is increasing, however, involving unexpected agents. In July , Fiat workers in Italy went on strike after a million-euro trade of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus Turin was announced. As Fiat and Juventus are controlled by the same holding company, the workers felt the money should have been spent on improving their wages and working conditions instead.
Bigotry still haunts football culture. Despite many campaigns against racism, black players are still targets of taunts and insults. Only drastic reactions create headlines, for example when Kevin-Prince Boateng, at the time playing for AC Milan, walked off the field during a preseason game in Busto Arsizio, or when Emmanuel Frimpong, representing the Russian side FC Ufa, was red-carded in after giving monkey-chanting fans the finger.
Headlines were also created by German midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger in , when, after he had ended his career, he became the first prominent footballer since Justin Fashanu to come out as gay. Stories about the abuse of young athletes by coaching and medical staff have shaken the sports world in the past ten years, with some horrific cases coming to light. This did not pass by soccer either.
The revelations made in by Andy Woodward, a former English professional and victim of sexual abuse, were groundbreaking and caused investigations that led to the arrest and imprisonment of several perpetrators. Social justice campaigns receive increasing support.
Current examples include Common Goal, with professional players pledging to donate 1 percent of their income to football charities, and Soccer Without Borders, which invests in youth soccer projects in low-income communities. Many football-based initiatives were founded in Europe in in connection with many refugees arriving from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
Soccer events are regularly used by political activists as a stage to protest and raise concerns. In Iran, the ban of women spectators from soccer matches remains a highly charged political issue. Soccer is not only used as a platform by political activists, however.
Even if it is a minority, there are supporters, players, and sometimes even managers and officials, who try to change the game from within. Emerged as a new hero among leftist supporters has Kurdish-German striker Deniz Naki. Pauli, Naki continued his career in Turkey, where he came under increasing pressure for his open support of the Kurdish liberation movement.
In January , Naki barely escaped an assassination attempt during a visit to Germany. Meanwhile, he was banned from playing soccer in Turkey by the Turkish Football Association. At the time of writing, he resides at an unknown location. Other players have spoken out politically with less drastic consequences.
That the xenophobic, misogynistic and narcissistic rhetoric would be replaced with a more humble and measured approach to leading our country. I was wrong. He also heads a foundation that provides clean drinking water and sanitation facilities in Ethiopia. To put it simply, my conscience will not let me continue with this.
A player who received much political attention was the Palestinian Mahmoud Sarsak, who, in , went on a three-month hunger strike to protest his imprisonment by Israeli authorities. The political convictions of Sarsak, an alleged Islamic Jihad member, remain unclear, however. The same is true for Syrian goalkeeper Abdul Baset al-Sarout, who became a rebel commander in the fight against the Assad regime. In Bahrain, several football players were arrested in connection with anti-government protests in ; the national team players Mohamed Hubail and Ali Said were sentenced to prison terms.
To look for pronounced leftist values among soccer players remains a daunting task. In a interview, a leftist soccer icon of the s, the Italian Paolo Sollier, was asked how diffi cult he thought it was to be a left-wing football player today. I have never met one. Pauli remains a professional club of a special kind.
It is sometimes overly romanticized—even St. In , for example, it allowed activists who had descended on Hamburg to protest the G20 summit to stay on the grounds of the Millerntor Stadium. Other soccer clubs that have made political statements in recent years include the Greek teams of AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos, whose players staged a sit-in protest before a game in to protest the treatment of refugees in the country.
In the spring of , the club risked forced relegation when it refused to pay a fine of 7, euros to the Northeastern German Football Association after some of its supporters had confronted neo-Nazi fans of Energie Cottbus. The matter was finally resolved, when the FA promised to invest the fine paid by Babelsberg into an antiracism campaign. The politics of football supporters remain as diverse as they have always been.
Recently, for example, Millwall supporters, long accused of racism and belligerence, have become anti-gentrification poster children, as they fiercely oppose commercial development projects around their homeground, the infamous Den. In Germany, Ultras of all colors have campaigned against Monday evening games and the emergence of the RB Leipzig, sponsored by Red Bull, as a new Bundesliga powerhouse.
Ultras have fought for democratization in the Middle East and for ethnic cleansing in Ukraine. In Germany, an odd formation called Hooligans against Salafists has stirred up anti-Muslim sentiments. In some cases, of course, the political persuasion of football supporters is very clear. In Greece, Ultra groups have been strongly involved in migrant justice campaigns. And in places far off the radar of Western sports media, most notably in Indonesia, political radicals fill the ranks of highly committed Ultra groups.
An increasing number of left-leaning supporters fed up with the hyper-commercialization of the professional game are turning to lower leagues to live out their passion. In , Non-League Day was introduced by English fans, a celebration of amateur soccer that has expanded to many countries around the world.
An important day for many football supporters, no matter their politics, was September 12, , when the Independent Hillsborough Panel declared that Liverpool fans were not to blame for the tragedy at the Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield. On April 15 that year, a human crush during an FA semi-final game between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest caused the deaths of nearly a hundred supporters and injuries and trauma among hundreds more.
The Hillsborough Justice Campaign is still active and has been driven by football supporters—from Liverpool and beyond—for almost three decades. Another expression of the often-admirable dedication of football supporters is the increasing number of fan-owned clubs. Much has happened in recent years for the pioneering projects featured in the original edition of this book: AFC Wimbledon have advanced to League One third tier in English football , where they meet the Milton Keynes Dons, the official successor to Wimbledon FC that the AFC Wimbledon founders refused to support.
In any case, neither the Salzburg experience nor the early failure of deinfussballclub. In Portsmouth, a fan cooperative saved the club from bankruptcy in , with the fans deciding four years later to sell the club again to an investor, hoping that this would help it return to the Premier League.
Time will tell how wise the decision was. Three-sided football now has its own World Cup; the first was held in Silkeborg, Denmark, at the Museum Jorn, dedicated to the artist Asger Jorn, credited with conceiving the game. There is an ever-increasing number of alternative clubs, tournaments, and leagues, focusing on joy and community rather than on performance and competition. Several examples are presented in the appendix. Football is intrinsically political.
Under the right circumstances, it can contribute to radical change. To illustrate the former and to strengthen the latter is the purpose of this book. Despite growing up playing football, talking about football and wanting to be a footballer, the rush and push of that game, as a nine-year-old, shocked me—on the pitch and on the terraces, so potent, exciting and colourful! So much life and noise squashed into such a small place. Still, that first concert was, like my first football match, potent, exciting and colourful; a place of life and noise.
These two events, as if in a secret pact, joined together and combined to energise, delight and frustrate me from that day to this. I did realise, though, that I had the power to interpret and organise this obsession; I could choose how to dress up my infatuation with this simple game. In short, I could complicate it. Learn its weaknesses and strengths, put it in context, criticise and praise, adorn and strip away. None of this prodding diminished my love for the game; if anything, my passion for the underdog—politically, socially, culturally—has given meaning to an increasingly distant top-layer of football.
Football is a complicated game. And believe it or not, the synthesis of a lifelong love of the culture and context of both music and football came together right there in that smelly urinal. I love football. I hate football too, sometimes—but never for long enough to dent that complicated passion.
So much life and noise … squashed into such a small book. A few months ago I was tabling at a media fair in Germany. Early in the second day, the flow of visitors was rather slow and I started chatting with an Argentinean friend who had a stall nearby.
In a swift thirty minutes, we covered a number of issues: anarchism vs. Then we started talking football—three hours later, we were still at the same topic. Eventually, we had to relieve the folks who had attended to our stalls although we were long from finished. This book is for two kinds of people: those who have similar discussions all the time; and those who have always wondered how politically inclined folks can enjoy them.
The intention is to provide an overview of the connections between football and radical politics—politics that pursue fundamental social change in order to create egalitarian communities comprised of free individuals. The focus will be on three main aspects: 1 manifestations of radical politics in the professional game; 2 radical soccer fan culture; 3 the radical soccer underground that has spread across the world.
On a personal level, the motivation was simple. For a long time, I have been trying to reconcile a deeply rooted passion for soccer with my political convictions. In , at the age of fifteen, I was on the roster of FC Kufstein, a semi-professional second-league team in Austria.
That very season, the club celebrated its biggest success in history. After losses against the later Champions League contenders Sturm Graz and Austria Salzburg we failed, but those were exciting weeks. Although I enjoyed the status I gained as a semi-professional soccer player among my peers, the travels around the country, the Italian training camps, and the days off school, I decided to quit soccer only two years later, after graduating high school. At that point, radical politics had become my new number-one passion and many of my beliefs clashed with the world of soccer as I knew it: the competitiveness, the sexism, racism, and homophobia, the close contact with authoritarian managers, greedy sponsors, corrupt presidents, and despicable politicians.
I returned to soccer only half a year later, when I realized that it was still more fun to earn money as a student playing football than waiting tables. I started regularly for the FC Kufstein as an eighteen-year-old, hoping that I would attract the attention of a first division club—after all, the childhood dream of becoming a professional player had not evaporated just because I was now fascinated by armed guerrilla struggle, squatting, and anarchist theory. The next season, we had a new manager, and things changed, as they often do in these cases.
In the summer of , after much ado about contracts, transfer fees, and club ownership rights, I quit semi-professional soccer for good. I played two more years in minor leagues to have fun and get some exercise, and in I moved to the U. In the decade that followed, I did a lot of traveling and joined pick-up games from Vanuatu to South Africa. I hardly ever talked about my years as an aspiring football professional.
It seemed like this period of my life was long gone, something I needed to justify rather than to be proud of, and of no relevance whatsoever for my existence as a mature grown-up. The truth, though, is that my footballing years have had a profound impact on my personality, my relationships with others, and my view of the world. Outside of personal matters—family, friends, love—the strongest emotions of my life are tied to the game: pleasure and joy as well as disappointment, embarrassment, and feelings of deceit and betrayal.
Football unraveled many myths, as I played with and against Austrian national team players, revered heroes of mine. Football taught me how to work with people to achieve a mutual goal even if you have little in common. Football demonstrated how folks turn into liars and cheaters when blinded by money and fame.
Football taught me about labor relations, as I left my dirty gear at every practice for underpaid staff to clean. Football shaped my sense of home as I played for the youth teams of the province I grew up in, the Tyrol. There are more staggering reports from others. We should never surrender it into enemy hands. The text has been updated and significantly altered, but the handbook character remains: at its core, it provides concise information about the many aspects of the world of football that are of interest to the radical fan.
Some of these are dealt with in more depth in the many articles, essays, and interviews included here. These are partly reprints of texts that are difficult to access or forgotten, partly first-time English translations of foreign-language pieces, and partly original contributions to this book. All interviews were conducted by me unless noted otherwise.
The terms soccer and football are used synonymously throughout. The illustrations have been collected from a variety of sources. I am greatly indebted to all the people who have provided material, lending crucial support to this project! Radical football fans like to portray the game as a traditional working-class sport. This is true in certain ways, and false in others.
Soccer historians have cited evidence of football-like games in many cultures. Apparently, such games have been played among Romans, Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, and Vikings as well as in ancient Chinese and Japanese societies.
Football games in England date back at least years. These stemmed not so much from moral disquiet about the violent consequences of football but from the fact that, by driving ordinary citizens away from the market towns on match days, it was bad for business.
The royals had other concerns. Supposedly, King Edward III of England banned the game in because it kept his bowmen from practicing their archery skills. Numerous legal attempts were made at suppressing the game over the centuries—all to no avail.
This was a reflection of industrialization and urbanization, which had eradicated many areas where the traditional games had been played, and of new mechanisms of social control. Once the game had entered public schools, it was increasingly regulated. But football remained a fairly violent sport for some time.
In , Dr. Even the churches started to embrace the game, hoping that it would keep youths from drinking and idling. The Rugby regulations found wide acceptance, yet interpretations varied from school to school for some decades. With the desire for increased inter-school contests came finally the wish for a commonly accepted book of rules. After weeks of discussion, traditionalists split from reformists.
The former eventually founded the Rugby Football Union in By , the game had pretty much taken on the form that characterizes it to this day. Commonly accepted rules are prerequisites for games to spread globally, which creates enormous potential for international community building. The class character of football changed in the late 19 th century. Middle-class and upper-class folks played football for recreation, but their professional ambitions lay elsewhere.
For working-class folks, however, playing football professionally became a tempting alternative to toiling in a factory. While the middle and upper classes arrogantly snubbed the professionalization of the game, the working classes embraced it as an early form of social ascent. The prominence of working-class players in the professional game also had an effect on the spectators, who wanted to see their mates play. However, although the players in these clubs were workers who attracted a largely working-class audience, the teams were founded, financed, and administered by capitalist industry.
This means that from its beginnings as a professional enterprise, football was economically and politically dependent on and controlled by the middle and upper classes. It was not only factory workers who founded clubs, but also churches. The development that football took was not to the liking of the defenders of Victorian conservatism.
The festival character of working-class soccer matches seemed to recall the atmosphere at traditional inter-village football games. These fears reinforced the image of soccer as a working-class sport. On the European continent, soccer arrived early. The Netherlands and Denmark founded national football associations as early as , with Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy following shortly after.
In , football made its first appearance at the Olympics as a demonstration sport; it was included as an official event by Germany cabled its intention to join the same day. Political controversies were a big factor in FIFA from its inception.
In , Austria successfully objected to the membership of Bohemia and Hungary on the grounds that these were Austrian territories. The British associations had joined FIFA a year after its foundation but were not very active in the organization.
The motive was thinly veiled snobbery: British football officials saw their teams above all other football-playing nations. When club football became popular in the late 19 th century, however, women soon formed their own teams. This allowed football to develop its staunchly male character, also on the terraces. The only notable football nation that kept a longer ban was Paraguay, where women were prohibited from organized football until Soccer had reached South America almost as early as Continental Europe.
Argentina had its own Football Association by , Chile two years later, and Uruguay by The sociocultural development of football in South America was similar to the one in Europe. The first clubs were mostly founded by expatriates, but the sport was fast embraced by the working classes. In the early 20 th century, there were probably more clubs founded by workers themselves than in Europe.
However, as Maurice Biriotti del Burgo explains, those in power soon tried to take control:. At times this took the form of patronage, with an established club funding an affiliated local team. In these early relationships formed between the elite and the masses in football, can be seen the origins of one of the most compelling arguments in the analysis of football in Latin America: that football serves as an opiate of the masses, an instrument of mass control, a social adhesive binding the most volatile and precarious of ethnic and political mixes.
May God punish England! Not for nationalistic reasons, but because the English people invented football! Football is a counterrevolutionary phenomenon. Proletarians between the age of eighteen and twenty-five, i. No matter how much effort you put into advertising political meetings, no one attends. Meanwhile, thousands, even tens of thousands, of proletarians gather around big city football fields every Sunday.
As if the answer to the social question, as if life and happiness depended on whether it flies to the left or to the right. It is like a disease, like a fever. The situation is bizarre. Would it not be a natural and pleasant change if Sunday were used for training their neglected brain muscles? But no—they want to do anything but think!
The one who laughs behind the scenes is the capitalist. He knows that he will only be in danger once the workers start to ponder. This is why he keeps them from pondering by all means possible. The bourgeois press, usually eager to save space, fills page after page with football news. In the illustrated supplement, the whole team can even find their picture! However, many socialists soon realized that football was becoming an integral part of working-class culture and they reacted.
In the s, a number of socialist football clubs were founded. The idea was to place the game in a sound ideological environment, but also to use it to strengthen socialist and collective values. These developments were particularly strong in Argentina. In the first two decades of the century—in the course of not even a generation—football, like the children of European immigrants, became part of daily life in Argentina. In each neighborhood, one or two clubs were founded. The anarchists and socialists were alarmed.
Instead of attending political meetings and gatherings, the workers went to dance tango on Saturday and to watch football on Sunday. There was also El Porvenir, indicating the utopian vision of its founders. Given the enthusiasm of the people, the old ideologues had to revise their perspective: they now welcomed football as a communitarian game that helped unite people—but they were still opposed to football as a spectacle that mesmerized the masses.
Football kept on growing. Stands were erected around the fields to provide more space for spectators. The organization of the game became increasingly complicated. Political and economic interests played a big part, the competition increased, referees were suspected of accepting bribes—football was no longer a mere game, it had become a business. Players who had always been amateurs were suddenly lured to clubs for money, the best of them ending up at the clubs that were financially strongest.
These were not the only borders created by football—there were more. In , the great era of Boca Juniors began. The club won its first title and had fans that constituted a twelfth player. Its humble founders crossed many barren fields until they made their home behind a coal bunker on the island of Demarchi. When they were kicked out, they found a temporary refuge in the Wilde neighborhood. Eventually, they moved back to Boca, and in they ended up at Brandsen y Del Crucero, where La Bombonera , their stadium, was built and where they remain to this day.
The names of some of the players in the blue-and-golden shirts have become legendary: Tesorieri, Calomino, Canaveri, and Garassino, who played all eleven positions. Spectators no longer came to just watch their teams—they came to watch their idols.
Calomino was always oblivious to the stands. He stood on the field, waited for the ball, and then made defenders dizzy with his incredible dribbles. He was a circus artist, an aerial acrobat, a juggler. In , the big question was which goalkeeper would represent Argentina at the South American Championship, held in Buenos Aires. The choice was Tesorieri, and he justified his selection in an impressive manner: he did not concede a single goal!
The final was the one that had to be expected: Argentina vs. The crowd of 25, was ecstatic; they had come to celebrate football as the festival of the people. There were no fences and it was easy to invade the pitch after the final whistle. So there they went with the triumphant gladiator they were ready to baptize Cesar. Their logo is a little globe—it is the globe of Jorge Newbery, the famous pilot, who never came back from his last journey.
Maybe the founders lacked knowledge in spelling, but not in football. In and in , they were champions of the Association League. Later, Stabile would be one of the first to practice what had become a new profession: that of the football manager. This was in When they returned to America, the Argentineans challenged them and beat them 2—1 with Onzari scoring directly from a corner kick. Only a few months earlier, the International Football Association Board had decided at a meeting in England that direct goals from corner kicks would count.
In , another club rose to fame. It came from Avellaneda and was called Independiente. The libertarian name implied rebellion. Their name and the red color of their shirts made them dangerous in the eyes of the authorities.
The club was founded at a coffee table in the city center but soon moved to an affordable location in Avellaneda, very close to Racing Club. This is when the rivalry with Racing and the identification with the proletarian neighborhood began. In , Independiente realized the dream of all football players and supporters: they became unbeaten champions. Not a single game was lost, and the memory of the first official game they played in , a 1—22 defeat against Atlanta, was finally erased.
Gaucho singers even composed a song for the champions:. But the Diablos Rojos did not forget Boca. They played nineteen games, won fifteen, and lost only three. Even though the best of Argentinean football was traveling to Europe, the local fans had no reason to complain—especially not those of Racing, nicknamed La Academia , which had a pair of strikers delighting the crowds with both finesse and efficiency: Natalio Perinetti and Pedro Ochoa.
The doors stood wide open for the Olympics in Amsterdam in The Argentineans felt strong and had lost their inferiority complexes towards the Uruguayans. When the team returned from Lima by train, the masses gathered at the station in the Retiro district of the capital. Soon, new saints came marching in. Their colors were red and blue and their name was San Lorenzo de Almagro. It should be added, though, that some less pious fans insist to this day that the name is a reference to the Battle of San Lorenzo, an important event in the Argentine War of Independence.
It had been founded by aristocrats, fine gentlemen who wanted to practice manly sports. The gentlemen began to play football with the English sailors in the nearby port. But as the years went by, the high society players were replaced by workers, and the students in the stands mixed with migrants from the surrounding countryside.
The champion team included two players who were off to a magnificent career: the defender Evaristo Delovo and the striker Francisco Varallo. Football and cinema became the preferred forms of entertainment in Buenos Aires.
Cinemas opened in every neighborhood, while the football clubs were looking for better grounds. The rich clubs grew increasingly unhappy with wooden stands and wanted to build with solid cement. In , Independiente inaugurated the first proper stadium in the country; it could hold up to , people. But Argentineans did not only go to the cinema and to the stadium in the s. In , like all over the world, thousands gathered on the streets to protest the assassination of the workers Sacco and Vanzetti, condemned to the electric chair by the North American justice system.
Osvaldo Bayer is an Argentinean historian, writer, and activist. The German-speaking world saw an interesting development in football in the s and early s, when workers-only clubs were founded. This was a unique endeavor in football history. The Nazis also eradicated the strong Jewish influence on European soccer.
Walther Bensemann was not only involved in the foundation of Eintracht Frankfurt and Karlsruher SC but also founded Kicker , the most popular German soccer journal to date. In Austria and Hungary, the Jewish influence on soccer was particularly strong. Hakoah was also the first team to beat an English side in England when they routed West Ham United 5—1 in In , Hakoah embarked on a very successful tour of the United States, playing in front of record-breaking crowds.
Against common perception, soccer was a fairly well-established sport in the United States at the time. Prominent schools like Harvard and Princeton had started to organize intramural football competitions in the s. The Oneida club, formed in Boston in , became the first soccer club outside of England. Yale and Princeton followed suit, and in , Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, from which American football gradually emerged as a distinct game.
The fact that the U. The game reached the Midwest in the s and the West Coast by the end of the century. In , immigrants from Britain formed the American Football Association, the United States and Canada played their first international in 1—0 Canada , and in , a demonstration soccer tournament was played at the Olympics in St.
The Challenge Cup, today known as the U. The significance of the United States for the development of soccer is not least confirmed by U. By the s, several leagues had been formed across the continent. Of particular interest from a left-wing perspective was the involvement of Nicolaas Steelink in the California Soccer League. Steelink, a Dutch immigrant and successful youth player in the Netherlands, became an IWW activist in the United States and was imprisoned for two years in the early s.
After his release, he was an influential figure in U. Soccer Hall of Fame. Steelink was born Oct. He came to the United States from his native Holland in and settled in Seattle. In , he moved to Los Angeles and, concerned about the poor working conditions that prevailed at the time, joined the Industrial Workers of the World.
Because of his political views and intense involvement in the IWW, he was arrested for syndicalism—an effort to put trade unions in control of production and distribution at manufacturing plants. At age 30, he was sentenced to two years in San Quentin Prison in California. As he became older, Mr. Steelink became less active politically and more active physically in his first love, soccer, according to Leslie Forster, a chemistry professor at the University of Arizona and a friend of Mr.
When he was young, Mr. After moving to California he organized the California Soccer League in , an organization composed of hundreds of teams and thousands of members today. Steelink was inducted into the U. Steelink retired from his profession of accounting in and moved to Tucson in Steelink also liked to exercise his mind.
He spent some of his spare time translating literary works from his native Dutch to English. He was the only person to do a complete translation of the published works of Dutch philosopher Eduard Douwes Dekker, which he donated to the University of Arizona Library in He is survived by his son, Cornelius, a chemistry professor at UA, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
The s are considered the Golden Era of North American soccer. The American Soccer League, founded in , was financially strong and attracted a number of European players. In , the U. However, the tournament marked the end of U. Hit hard by the depression of the s, the game was soon surpassed in popularity by both baseball and American football. Fierce battles between competing soccer associations and failed attempts at various professional leagues contributed to further demise.
The stunning 1—0 victory over England at the World Cup in Brazil was an exceptional event during a decades-long drought. This at least kept it alive on the college level. Hitler outlawed all socialist and Jewish clubs. However, football soon recovered and regained popularity around the world. It has always been the most influential association within FIFA and has turned into a powerful organization in its own right.
Football had reached most Asian countries through European colonizers and traders. In many parts of the continent, the game developed into the most popular team sport, although in certain regions there has been stiff competition by cricket South Asia and baseball East Asia.
Today, several professional leagues have been established, most notably in Japan and in China. Overall, however, the European leagues, in particular the English Premier League remain far more popular. The Japanese J. League was originally modeled after professional sports leagues in the United States and controlled by big business, although some structural changes have been made in recent years.
Nonetheless, it still attracts many European and Latin American star players beyond their peak who end their careers there with generous salaries. The Chinese Super League, founded in , has been marred by scandals, financial difficulties, and allegations of match-fixing, but is still expanding. The earliest teams in the Middle East were founded by European expatriates, but clubs were soon organized by nationals. The Gulf States spend a lot of money on their national sides and Saudi Arabia emerged as a strong international contender in the s.
Hapoel teams have traditional connections to the trade union movement and the Labor Party—the most prominent today is Hapoel Tel Aviv. Maccabi teams used to represent the mainstream Zionist movement—Maccabi Haifa is one of the best-known. It has sometimes been hailed as the first pan-African organization, although such claims seem disputable: there were only four founding members Ethiopia, the Sudan, Egypt, and South Africa , the Pan-African Congress by W.
Du Bois was already organized in , and Marcus Garvey founded several organizations with a pan-African outlook. Some of the earliest clubs founded on the continent by Africans, like the Egyptian side Al-Ahly in , played an important role for African pride and self-esteem.
A particular situation emerged in South Africa, where soccer became the most popular sport for the Black community, while Whites preferred cricket and rugby. Most of the leading teams in South Africa today, like the Orlando Pirates or the Kaizer Chiefs, have their roots in the townships of a segregated country.
Given the lack of money and infrastructure for local leagues, African soccer has become closely tied to the European game. Ever since regulations on foreign players on European club teams were abandoned in the mids, there has been an exodus of African football talent to Europe.
Mind you, this economic inequity is not only apparent in the case of African teams. The transfer of African players to Europe has become a lucrative business, haunted by exploitation and fraud. The many football agents are divided into sincere folks and crooks. Thousands of African football hopefuls are left penniless in Africa or stranded in Europe every year. The boys turned out to be members of an amateur football club from Abidjan in Ivory Coast.
They had been promised contracts with European football clubs and had therefore agreed to travel with the club president and a manager to Europe via Mali. The parents of the boys had each paid about euro to the player agent for the journey. Once in Sikasso, they joined a smaller group of boys already held in the villa.
The press briefing of IOM concerning this story further revealed that the boys were smuggled into Mali in late December and experienced rough living conditions. They were all aged between 16 and 18 years and coming from Yopougon, a municipality in the outskirts of Abidjan. Organizations have sprung up to try to counteract the exploitation of African players by agents and clubs.
Given the global economic imbalance, the desire of Africans to play in Europe is more than understandable. At the same time, it contributes to the structural problems that many African football nations have to struggle with, namely a lack of resources and of local infrastructure. With players dispersed far and wide, with poor local facilities, and with frequent changes of managing staff, it is hard to plan far ahead. You are a sociologist and you have spent a lot of time in Africa.
What motivated you to write a book about Africa and football? Thirteen years ago I traveled to Africa for the first time. Since then, I have visited over twenty African countries. During my travels, I encountered football in all sorts of contexts. Football is a subject that allows you to connect with Africans very quickly, especially men, but also women. Despite the different experiences and possibilities, especially financially, we can discuss football as equals.
It is also a subject that touches on many issues that take the conversation way beyond football itself. When I moved to West Africa in to work there for two years, I began collecting information on African football more systematically. It became increasingly clear to me that football was a very useful vehicle to study and to present African societies. I first turned the material I gathered into a course at the University of Zurich. I thought it was a good introduction to Africa for students who did not know much about the continent.
Later, I decided to write a book. In general, the political aspects of football in Africa are much more obvious than, say, in Switzerland. To begin with, this is certainly connected to the personal character of political power in vast parts of Africa, meaning that power is tied to particular individuals rather than to particular posts or functions.
Instrumentalizing football and football players belongs to these strategies. Important games are attended by huge delegations of politicians, trophies are presented by state presidents, and successful national teams are brought home by charter planes, are personally received by the president, and generously rewarded with gifts.
All these are examples for symbolic politics in which ritual is more important than content. Politicians also tend to disregard divisions of powers. They put pressure on national football associations and national team managers. Whether FIFA likes it or not: the national football associations in Africa are hardly independent from the state.
Political power struggles are also the cause for the frequent changes of national team managers. New managers are often hired shortly before big tournaments with the demand to deliver good results—not in the future, but right now! Under such circumstances, long-term development becomes very difficult. In authoritarian states, the political influence is particularly pronounced: the authoritarian governments attempt to steer the activities of civil society by controlling the media, trade unions, and other organizations.
Authoritarian rulers often attempt to control and to instrumentalize football, for example by presenting the success of a team as their personal success. Many people are quite aware of this. However, football stadiums can also be sites for expressing dissatisfaction with authoritarian regimes. A defeat in football can also become a defeat for an authoritarian ruler. The football stadiums of Africa—like those of other continents—are locations of power as much as locations of opposition or counterpower.
Football is a medium to execute power and to resist power. Furthermore, while the population was distracted by the football tournament, the Angolan parliament abolished popular vote for the presidency, effectively paving the way for Santos to remain in power until —by then, he will have ruled Angola for forty-three years. I would say that hardly any individuals or parties in sub-Saharan Africa could even be placed on the political left-right continuum.
Is there even a noteworthy organized left in Africa? Parties represent regions or individuals rather than clear political programs. This is also true for clubs that derived from workplace teams, from railway workers, from civil servants, from customs officers, or from security forces like the army or the police. There were socialist African states in which football played an important role. At the time, important football games were prioritized over all else, players were appointed to specific teams, and contacts abroad were prohibited.
Schools and factories were closed to enable people to go support certain teams. In both countries, people still recall the football successes of the s. Right-wing and left-wing dictatorships instrumentalized football in similar ways. They were sponsored by football-passionate men, successful women entrepreneurs, and the wives of known politicians.
In the beginning, the national football associations did not show much assistance. Unsurprisingly, though, much less money is involved in these transfers than in those of male players. On a global scale, Nigeria reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in and of the Olympic Games in At the same time there are—just like in Europe—few female managers. Women in football are confronted with many stereotypes. They always have to work twice as hard as the men, and their achievements are often belittled.
In the administrative bodies, women are highly underrepresented too. Liberia even makes a bigger exception: for some time, the most important posts in football were held by women when Jamesetta Howard was the Minister of Sports and Izetta Wesley the President of the Football Association. In other African countries, we find few women in leading positions.
FIFA also sets a negative example: no women hold important positions there either. Critics often point out that African states almost exclusively sponsor men in sports generally. In various countries of Eastern and Southern Africa, netball is a very popular sport among women, but receives little official support.
Of course this is a phenomenon not exclusive to Africa. A topic that, in recent years, has been raised repeatedly in connection with football in Africa are the bad conditions under which many African footballers play in Europe, and the sometimes deceitful methods with which they are recruited. I find the comparison to the slave trade rather problematic. There are no Africans leading groups of young footballers at gunpoint to ports where representatives of Manchester United and Chelsea haggle over the best deals.
The migration itself can take on different forms. Some players come to Europe on their own, sometimes illegally, using money that their family raised for them to make the journey. These players use regular migration routes. Others are brought to Europe—and, increasingly, to Asia—by both European and African agents for test matches, sometimes under false promises.
Quite often a lot of money is involved. Some agents are former players, some are managers, and some are mere businessmen. Only very few of those who play in test matches end up with contracts. Players who do not succeed are often abandoned by their agents and left to fend for themselves.
Many of them do not dare to return home as losers, and stay illegally. There are probably several thousand failed football migrants in Europe. Those who do find clubs often become dependent on them and accept very poor salaries in lower leagues.
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