Soccer Politics Pages

Produced by Students at Duke University in the Fall of 2009 and the Fall of 2013

These pages were originally written by students in Duke’s “World Cup and World Politics” class taught by Professor Laurent Dubois during the Fall term of 2009. The students all initially wrote individual research papers, and based on these papers we formed groups around the topics below. They then collectively produced these web pages.In 2013, the students in the Duke class “Soccer Politics,” taught by Laurent Dubois and Achille Mbembe, edited and updated these pages.

Please do not quote or draw from these essays without proper citation. The authors for each web page are noted at the beginning of the main page for each topic.  To access the sites click on the page descriptions below or the links to the right.



Explore the History, Politics and Economics of the sport in Africa from colonialism to the present and reflect upon the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

Written in 2009 by Katie Greenstreet, Cole Grossman,  Nelson De Oliveira, and Robert Weaver

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Morganne Gagne, Lauren Oliveri, and June Zhang



Learn about the history of football in Brazil through the biographies of great players: Friedenreich, El Garrincha, Zico, Pelé, Ronaldo, Kaká, and Neymar; as well as its famous managers.

by Federica Burelli, James Goldberg, Steve Johnson, Kayla Kirk, Chris Straka, and Quentin Ybarra

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Ramsey Al-Khalil, Jordan Cirocco, and Halsey Friedel


El Clasico as Spanish History

Delve into the roots and history of one of the greatest footballing rivalries on the globe: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

by Austin Esecson, Remy Lupica, and Neel Muthana

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Austin Ness, Vishnu Kadiyala, Natasha Catrakilis, Julianna Miller, and Basil Seif

Captain Beckenbauer hoisting the 1974 World Cup trophy.

European Icons of the 1980s and 1990s

Follow the careers and controveries surrounding of some of the greatest players in recent European history: Beckenbauer, Keane, Cantona and Henry.

Written in 2009 by Will Burke, Christophe Lafargue, Lucas Lallinger, Chris Senior and Andrew Wenger

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Michael Reintgen, Matt Ochs, and Jun Yoon


Football and Politics in Europe: 1930s-1950s

Learn about the uses of and struggles over football in Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Communist Hungary

by Hilah Almog, Emma Anspach, and Taylor Spragens

Edited & Updated in 2013 by Brittney Balser and Alessandro Santalbano


The Football Industry in Contemporary Europe

A critical analysis of the coaches, managers, players, and back-room deals that make today’s European football industry work

by David Lue, Sabreena Merchant, Jeffrey Nash, and Ethan Settel

The passion of the Iranian fans

An Exploration of Politics & the Beautiful Game in The Middle East

The history and politics of football in Iran, Iraq and Turkey, and an exploration of women’s soccer in the region

Written in 2009 by Velihan Erdogdu, Risa Isard, Brian Kim, and Danny Mammo

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Maggie Lin and Patricia Spears

Jean Marc Bosman, Sepp Blatter's worst nightmare

Players and Migration

Learn about the legal implications of the Bosman ruling and follow controversies and debates surrounding players of immigrant background in France and Sweden

by David Carlson and Aron Yassin

Argentina 1978 150x150

The Politics of Football in Latin America

Explore the intersection of politics and football in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay

by Will Flaherty, Courtney Ginn, Langley King, David Levine and David Nammour



From the nineteenth century to the present, an exploration of the history and passions surrounding Scottish football

by Bradford Colbert, Tran King, and Cullen Sinclair


Soccer in the U.S.

Soccer has struggled to find a place in the professional sports of the U.S.  Why? What does the future hold?

Written in 2009 by Julia Fogleman, Lucas Nevola and Kelsey Ontko

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Matt Darlow, Dan Carp, Bryan Silverman and Matt Berezo


The Soccer War

In 1969, a qualifying World Cup match between El Salvador and Honduras started a war

Written in 2009 by Claire Lockerby, Steven McMullen and Yuriy Veytskin

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Matthew Schorr, Lindsey Barrett and Colby Leachman

FIFA World Cup Trophy

The World Cup in 2018 and 2022

After 2014 in Brazil, who will host these future world cups? Find out about the process and its history and the current bids

Written in 2009 by Umberto Plaja and Steffi Decker.

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Ian Bruckner, Vinay Kumar, Colby Shanafelt, Tuck Stapor, and Jordan Pearson


Women’s Soccer in the U.S.

Learn about the development of women’s soccer, relive the 1999 World Cup, and explore the past and future of professional Women’s Soccer

by Gretchen Miller, Jon Scheyer, and Emily Sherrard

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Gilda Doria, Christina Malliris, and Avery Rape


Zidane and the 1998 World Cup

Zinedine Zidane, the son of Algerian immigrants, became an hero and commercial icon in France after clinching the 1998 World Cup for France

Written in 2009 by Sara Murphy and Alex Tschumi

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Kavin Tamizhmani, Becca Fisher, Caitlin Moyles, Rosa Toledo, and Elena Kim

We welcome comments, critiques and suggestions. Enjoy!


The Chinese Super League

Chinese Super League Buys Old and Tired European Players

Why is the Chinese Super League Winning and the MLS Loosing?

Written in 2016 by William Hague

3 thoughts on “Soccer Politics Pages

  1. Pingback: Soccer Politics | Jewish Diaspora

  2. Pingback: La política del Mundial de futbol | Revista Cuadrivio

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