The hidden social and political history of the German football association (DFB), 1900-50

Udo Merkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In an attempt to present itself as an apolitical organization, leading members of the German Football Association (DFB) have repeatedly argued over the last 100 years that football and politics have to be kept apart. Consequently, there has never been a critical self-appraisal of the DFB analysing its political history. Instead the DFB's commemorative publications to its centenary are full of anecdotes, glossy pictures, statistical material and details about victories and defeats. This article will provide a critical historical overview of the DFB's early development and will focus upon the organization's political position and ideological orientation in the context of associated social conflicts, from its beginnings in 1900 to the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany in the late 1940s. It will show that the political history of the German Football Association is characterized by a high degree of ideological continuity and closeness to nationalist, militaristic and later national-socialist ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-186
Number of pages20
JournalSoccer and Society
Volume1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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