Soccer vs. the State

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More About This Title Soccer vs. the State


The global image of the multi-billion dollar soccer industry is one of professionalism and commercialization. Yet the game retains a rebellious side, maybe more so than any other sport co-opted by money-makers and corrupt politicians. From its roots in working-class England to political protests by players and fans, and a current radical soccer underground, the notion of football as the “people’s game” has been kept alive. This book not only traces this history, but also reflects on common criticisms: that soccer ferments nationalism, serves right-wing powers, and fosters competitiveness. Soccer vs. the State serves both as an orientation for the politically conscious football supporter and an inspiration for those who wish to return the game played on televisions and in stadiums to alleyways and muddy pastures.This second edition has been expanded to cover events of recent years, including the involvement of soccer fans in the Middle Eastern uprisings of 2011–2013, the FIFA scandal of 2015, and the 2017 strike by the Danish women’s team.


Gabriel Kuhn is an Austrian-born writer and translator, a former semiprofessional soccer player, and an activist. Among his publications are Playing as If the World Mattered and Antifascism, Sports, Sobriety. Boff Whalley is an English musician, writer, athlete, and former lead guitarist for band Chumbawamba. He is now a playwright and the founder of Commoners Choir.