This essay explores the symbolic role played by football in the Tito-Stalin Split (1948-1953). In particular, it looks at the Yugoslav national team’s victory over the Soviet Union at the 1952 Olympics in Finland. It asks how Yugoslav sports administrators, athletes and the press negotiated the transition from a position of affectionate sporting emulation of the USSR, to one of hostile opposition. Both regimes paid close attention to international sporting competition and its potential propaganda benefits. Shedding light on an early intra-socialist rupture, this case deserves to be considered alongside better known instances of sporting conflict in the Cold War.
- Tito-Stalin Split
- Soviet Union
- 1952 Olympic Games
- School of History - Associate Professor in Modern European History
- East Centre: UEA Centre for the Study of East Central Europe and the Former Soviet Space - Member
Person: Research Centre Member, Academic, Teaching & Research