Like many team sports football is essentially competitive. Even among friends the game provides more pleasure if played with the aim of winning. But each competition needs rules that are perceived as just. Nothing is as likely to kill the interest of the game than the perception that there is no level playing field […]
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Football has always been a major producer of stereotypes. The invention of ‘national playing styles’ at the beginning of 20th century drew, inevitably, massively on extra-sportive stereotypes accumulated over the centuries and safely stored in national narratives of perception and self-perception. The fact that for over a century, football discourse has been produced (and endlessly […]
Watched by approximately 180 million viewers, the (Men’s) Champions League final on Saturday will be once again the annual sports event most followed across the continent and worldwide. It is ‘coronation day’ for the new European football monarch and it seems therefore perfectly appropriate that the ‘anointment’, as each single Champions League evening for over […]
While European political leaders are trying to find suitable responses to Russia’s quiet annexion of Crimea, going so far as to cancel the planned G8 meeting in Sochi, European football leaders carry on business as usual. In living rooms all across the continent this week’s broadcasts of the Champions League quarter finals will be opened […]
On 9 February, a small majority of Swiss voted in favour of taking measures to ‘curb mass immigration’. For a country whose economy and public services rely heavily on immigration, this was an astonishing sign of abandoning common sense and rational thinking to emotional fear-mongering by the leaders of the nationalist SVP. It’s what […]
The most impressive ‘permanent representation’ to the European Union in Brussels is not the French, British of German one, but that of a region: Bavaria. The beautiful ‘château’ just some meters from the European Parliament has been considered megalomaniac by some observers, but is calmly defended by its inhabitants as an excellent real estate […]
Why national symbols have a bright future ahead of them. Even more so today than thirty or forty years ago.
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