Timm Beichelt

Substitute Pitches - On the Relationship between Football and Power

(German title: Ersatzspielfelder)
ca. 160 pages
Timm Beichelt

Timm Beichelt

Timm Beichelt, born in 1968,is Professor of European Studies at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt(Oder).

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The selection of Russia and Qatar as hosts of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups have once more shown that the football pitch is never merely a green rectangle on which 22 players chase after a ball. (Professional) football is always a substitute pitch on which politics operate simultaneously: political leaders of all types draw attention to themselves, norms like competitive thinking are rehearsed, national teams are an indicator as to which groups are regarded as belonging to the nation and which groups aren’t.

By providing examples from Germany, France and Russia, Timm Beichelt examines the relationship between football and power. At the same time, he explores in his essay the question of whether the game still holds the possibility of serving as a platform for equality, tolerance and an authentic life today.