chapter  7
Football: Nation, City and the Dream. Playing the Game for Russia, Money and Power
ByMoney and Power Jim Riordan
Pages 16

Developments in post-Soviet football have to be seen against the cataclysmic sociopolitical changes that have occurred since the demise of communism and the USSR in 1991. One of the major legacies of the communist period of Russian history (1917-91) is fragmented governments that have provided a context for the consolidation of elites in nearly all the erstwhile USSR. The former Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991 into 15 independent states within some of which civil wars currently rage for further secession – for example, Chechnya in Russia or Ossetia in Georgia. This unstable and transient situation signifies ‘progress’ not to democracy, but to neo-authoritarian states in which corruption reigns, opposition is suppressed and the media are muzzled.