Soccer Diplomacy

Soccer Diplomacy

International Relations and Football since 1914

Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace

Edited by Heather L. Dichter

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky

286 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in, 7 b&w halftones

  • Hardcover
  • 9780813179513
  • Published: August 2020

$40.00 SR


Although the game of soccer is known by many names around the world—football, fútbol, Fußball, voetbal—the sport is a universal language. Throughout the past century, governments have used soccer to further their diplomatic aims through a range of actions including boycotts, carefully orchestrated displays at matches, and more. In turn, soccer organizations have leveraged their power over membership and tournament decisions to play a role in international relations.

In Soccer Diplomacy, an international group of experts analyzes the relationship between soccer and diplomacy. Together, they investigate topics such as the use of soccer as a tool of nation-state–based diplomacy, soccer as a non-state actor, and the relationship between soccer and diplomatic actors in subnational, national, and transnational contexts. They also examine the sport as a conduit for representation, communication, and negotiation.

Drawing on a wealth of historical examples, the contributors demonstrate that governments must frequently address soccer as part of their diplomatic affairs. They argue that this single sport—more than the Olympics, other regional multisport competitions, or even any other sport—reveals much about international relations, how states attempt to influence foreign views, and regional power dynamics.