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Substitute Pitches

Timm Beichelt

Substitute Pitches

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.

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