1st Edition

Face to Face Enduring Rivalries in World Soccer

Edited By Kausik Bandyopadhyay Copyright 2021
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

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    While rivalry is embedded in any sporting event or performance, soccer, the world’s most popular mass spectator sport, has been an emblem of such rivalries since its inception as an organized sport. Some of these rivalries grow to become long-term and perennial by their nature, extent, impact and legacy, from the local to the global level. They represent identities based on widely diverse affiliations of human life—locality, region, nation, continent, community, class, culture, religion, ethnicity, and so on. Yet, at times, such rivalries transcend barriers of space and time, where soccer-clubs, -nations, -personalities, -organizations, -styles and -fans float and compete with intriguing identities.

    The present volume brings into focus some of the most fascinating and enduring rivalries in the world of soccer. It attempts to encapsulate, analyse and reconstruct those rivalries—between nations, between clubs, between personalities, between styles of play, between fandoms, and between organizations—in a historical perspective in relation to diverse identities, competing ideologies, contestations of power, psychologies of attachment, bonds of loyalty, notions of enmity, articulations of violence, and affinities of fan culture—some of the core manifestations of sporting rivalry.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Soccer & Society.

    Introduction: rivalries in world soccer

    Kausik Bandyopadhyay

    1. Up’Ards, Down’Ards and derbies: figurational reflections on intense enmity in pre-modern English football

    Graham Curry

    2. The ‘talk o’ the toon’? An examination of the Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian football rivalry in Edinburgh, Scotland

    John Kelly and Alan Bairner

    3. The ‘Auld Enemy’? Exploring the England vs. Scotland rivalry from the perspective of soccer fans

    Stuart Whigham and Tom Gibbons

    4. ‘They’re just not my team’: the issue of player allegiances within Irish football, 2007–2012

    Conor Murray and David Hassan

    5. Laudrup or Ibrahimović: who is the best Scandinavian soccer player of all time?

    Søren Frank

    6. Atlético versus Real: Madrid’s soccer feud, urban space and stadia

    Vicente Rodriguez Ortega

    7. Searching for identity through football: the Nicosia derby

    Christos Kassimeris and Charis Xinari

    8. Derby of a ‘difficult’ history: the Poland-Russia match at Euro 2012

    Martin J. Kozon

    9. Superclásicos and rivalry antecedents: exploring soccer club rivalries in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico

    Charles Parrish and B. David Tyler

    10. USA vs. Mexico: history, geopolitics and economics of one of the world’s oldest rivalries in soccer

    Steven Apostolov

    11. The genesis of team rivalry in the New World: sparks to fan animosity in Major League Soccer

    Joe Cobbs and B. David Tyler

    12. AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia: footballing rivalry and shared political underdog status in Kenya

    W.W.S. Njororai

    13. Frenemies: understanding the interconnectedness of rival fan identities in Harare, Zimbabwe

    Manase Kudzai Chiweshe

    14. See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil? The press, violence and hooliganism at the ‘Battle of Zimbabwe’

    Lyton Ncube and Allen Munoriyarwa

    15. PRC v. Hong Kong: politics and identity from the Cold War years to the twenty-first century

    Chun Wing Lee

    16. Australian soccer rivalries: diasporas, violence and the Balkan connection

    Binoy Kampmark


    Kausik Bandyopadhyay is Professor of History at West Bengal State University, Kolkata, India. Formerly a Fellow of the International Olympic Museum, Lausanne (2010) and of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata (2006–2009 and 2013–2015), he is also Deputy Executive Editor of Soccer & Society (Routledge).