Day: September 13, 2010

Video Of The Week: Football & Fascism

As some of you may have noticed, we’ve restarted the “Video Of The Week” section on the site, and this week we have a particular treat for you in the form of the outstanding BBC documentary from 2003, “Football & Fascism”. This film traces the link between three fascist dictators of the twentieth century – Mussonlini, Hitler and Franco – and football, focussing on Mussolini’s, ahem, “hands on” approach towards the 1934 World Cup finals, the importance placed upon Germany’s performances at the 1936 Olympic Games and the 1938 World Cup finals and General Franco’s use of Real Madrid to bolster his popularity in Spain. That this is a BBC documentary is, of course, as much as you need to know in so far as an assurance of quality is concerned. Excellently researched, with some fascinating archive footage (the 1934 World Cup finals, for example, come alive before your very eyes in a way that is seldom seen elsewhere) and interviews with both historians and players that were there at the time, this is essential viewing to understand how football, for an ideology that was fundamentally atheist, was plied into being, to a lesser or greater extent, an opiate for the masses. It is critical that we remember that, just as the game can be a force for good, it can also be a force for evil and that...

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Match Of The Midweek: Stoke City 2-1 Aston Villa

With three losses from their opening three matches, Stoke City have a problem. Their third season back in the Premier League has begun with three losses and it is only the dismal form of West Ham United that is keeping them off the bottom of the Premier League table, although there is an element of falseness about their position, since two of their three defeats have come at the hands of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur – both matches that it might have been unreasonable to expect them to win. Still, however, there is cause for concern at The Britannia Stadium this evening that they may be set to hit the buffers. This is exactly the sort of match that they have excelled at grabbing by the scruff of the neck over the last couple of seasons, and they need to get back into that habit this evening. It is a different type of loss that is occupying the minds of many at The Britannia Stadium this evening, though. Manager Tony Pulis’ mother died earlier today, and Pulis is absent as a result. He’s not the only manager that is missing tonight. Gerard Houllier is back in English football as the Aston Villa manager, but he’s not here this evening either – a failure to reach agreement with the FFF over his departure from his role with them as a...

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