Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Football, hostage to nationalism

Football has developed in many countries, like other sports, because it is part of the politics of the pursuit of power and the ideologies it serves. The more extreme the political regime, the more it develops an important sports politics and style and the more “official” sports possess far-reaching statutes (e.g. fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, the Olympic sports in the former USSR and East Germany). Football rapidly became the expression of nationalism, patriotism and chauvinism, even before the international federations or before the World Cup in the 1930s.

Philippe Villemus, Le Dieu football (The Football God) (Ed. Eyrolles 2006)


In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR