Global Football: cultural exchange and political project

Every country on Earth today has a football association affiliated to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and everywhere football is played according to the same rules which are laid down and administered by FIFA. The same holds true for all levels of the game from the World Cup which is held every four years, to the most humble local league. According to the "Big Count", a statistical survey made by FIFA in 2000, there are around 13.000.000 officially registered players of both sexes in the world. The total number of all players is reckoned to be about 242.000.000, or 4,1 % of the world's population.
The world-wide spread of the game which was originally 'invented' in England is partly connected to processes of internationalisation. These include the growth of commercial relationships and the concomitant mobility of the elite classes at the end of the 19th century, the waves of emigration and the creation of immigrant areas in the metropolitan centres of Europe and overseas, and lastly (since the last third of the 20th century) to the growing broadcasting capacity of television. On the other hand the triumphal march of football after 1945 has taken place against the background of long-term political changes on a global level, particularly the general acceptance of the principle of the nation state and decolonisation. It is thus possible to identify interested political parties which have played a part in the deliberate development policies of football. These include individual politicians and football officials from the so-called third world, but above all FIFA which, in the course of the 20th century, has grown into a form of non-governmental organisation with respect to football.
The proposed section aims to examine the area between general internationalisation processes and special political interventions in order to explain how football was able to become part of global culture. All the speakers are experts in the history of sport and football. Some of the proposed contributions have grown out of a project on the history of FIFA and global football, the results of which were published in 2004 (Christiane Eisenberg et al., FIFA 1904-2004. 100 Jahre Weltfußball, Göttingen 2004; also published in English, French, Spanish, and Italian).

Principal Investigators
Eisenberg-Ditt, Christiane Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Christiane Eisenberg (Details) (British History since the Restoration)

Duration of Project
Start date: 09/2005
End date: 11/2005

Christiane Eisenberg/Pierre Lanfranchi (Hg.), Football History: International Perspectives / Fußball-Geschichte: Internationale Perspektiven. Sonderheft von Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung 31, 2006, H. 1 (= Nr. 115), Köln 2006.

Last updated on 2020-09-03 at 23:11