Soccer At The Service Of Fascism, History professor Cristóbal Villalobos Salas investigates in ‘’ the close relationship that totalitarian regimes have had with football
“I don’t know how he will do it, but Italy must win this championship.”
- “We will do everything possible.”
- “You have misunderstood me, general: Italy must win this World Cup. That’s an order”.
Soccer At The Service Of Fascism To become a dictator you must have a nose. They say that Benito Mussolini had never seen a football match in his life, but he knew how to quickly intuit the world of possibilities -political and propaganda- that football made available to him. Nazism, Francoism, and some American dictatorships followed in the footsteps of Italian fascism.
Then, of course, the ball had to enter the rival goal, but it is always easier for him to do it with Mussolini or Hitler in the stadium box. And, if reality became stubborn, there was the option of adapting the story to the needs. Who would notice that the rival team’s goals were omitted in the television summary of the match?
In interwar society, sport became massive support for propaganda. It fit perfectly with the fascist ideal: the value of youth, strength, action, the forging of character or discipline. Virtues all of them focused on fulfilling a supposed patriotic duty. In Soccer and Fascism (Altamarea), the history professor Cristóbal Villalobos Salas investigates the close relationship that totalitarian regimes have had with soccer.
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The book explores this permanent need of the human being to belong to a group that, in some way, frees them from their individual burden. Because that is the smell that the despots’ nose detected in its day. Interesting anecdotes, stories, and exploits that float about that reflection that Jorge Luis Borges once made: “ soccer awakens the worst passions.
It awakens above all what is worse in these times, nationalism in reference to the sport because people believe that they are going to see a sport, but they are not. The idea that there is one who wins and the other loses seems to me essentially unpleasant. There is an idea of supremacy, of power, which seems horrible to me. “
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Originally published at https://bettingtips.world on March 23, 2020.