"It all ended in an unsporting way": Serbian football and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, 1989-2006

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Part of a wider examination into football during the collapse of Eastern European Communism between 1989 and 1991, this article studies the interplay between Serbian football and politics during the period of Yugoslavia's demise. Research utilizing interviews with individuals directly involved in the Serbian game, in conjunction with contemporary Yugoslav media sources, indicates that football played an important proactive role in the revival of Serbian nationalism. At the same time the Yugoslav conflict, twinned with a complex transition to a market economy, had disastrous consequences for football throughout the territories of the former Yugoslavia. In the years following the hostilities the Serbian game has suffered decline, major financial hardship and continuing terrace violence, resulting in widespread nostalgia for the pre-conflict era.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1217
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of the History of Sport
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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