This book presents a series of fascinating case studies that show how the lives and bodies of clubs, players and fans around the world are enmeshed with politics.


It draws on original research in countries including England, Scotland, Ireland, Poland, Mexico, Algeria and Argentina and includes both historical and contemporary perspectives. It explores some of the most important themes in the study of sport, including sectarianism, migration, fan activism and national identity, and shows how football continues to be tied to political events, symbols and movements.


This is fascinating reading for any student or researcher working in sport studies, political science, sociology or contemporary history.

chapter |10 pages


Understanding the connection between football, identity and (P)politics
ByMartin J. Power, James Carr, Daniel Parnell, Paul Widdop, Stephen R. Millar

chapter Chapter 1|16 pages

‘Show respect to our anthem’

Identity politics and national team football in Northern Ireland
ByKatie Liston, Matt Deighan

chapter Chapter 2|15 pages

From ‘Billy Boys’ to ‘Ulster Boys’?

Sectarianism, Northern Ireland supporters and the emergence of the ‘Green and White Army’
ByJohn Bell, Paul Bell

chapter Chapter 3|15 pages

Two sides still at play 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement

ByPaul Breen, Sean Huddleston

chapter Chapter 4|20 pages

‘Poppies in the field’

The spectacularisation of military remembrance in British football
ByDanny Fitzpatrick

chapter Chapter 5|16 pages

Football in ‘French’ Algeria and ‘Algerian’ France

From colonisation to globalisation
ByPhilip Dine

chapter Chapter 6|15 pages

Enduring passions

Football, Peronism and the politics of national identity in Argentina
ByJim O’Brien

chapter Chapter 7|18 pages

‘Defenders of European culture’ – ‘refugee crisis,’1 football hooliganism and the right-wing shift in Europe2

ByPavel Brunssen, Robert Claus, Peter Römer

chapter Chapter 8|17 pages

Ehhhhh pu! … what?

A critical conversation about Mexican football fandom and the word at the centre of a homophobic chant
ByMelissa Mora Hidalgo, Giovanni Hortua Vargas

chapter Chapter 10|17 pages

Rescuing football clubs by supporters

The role and forms of social capital
ByRadosław Kossakowski, Mateusz Grodecki

chapter Chapter 11|16 pages

The political economy of grassroots football

From obscurity to austerity
ByDaniel Parnell, Danny Fitzpatrick, Anthony May, Paul Widdop