Internal and external political function of sport


  • Ondřej Štaud



politics, sport, crises in sport


Work is based on two pairs of case studies; the first pair is focused on an analysis of the internal political function of sport and the second pair is focused on the external political function of sport. All of the case studies will be applied to national teams as well as club sports. In the first two cases, we will analyze the internal role of sport in two different situations; in former Yugoslavia in the early nineties and also in Spain. We will analyze their separatist crises and the various possibilities of solving these crises through sport. In the other two cases we will present two situations, which will demonstrate the political effect of sport from an international point of view. In the first case we will examine the fate of the Czechoslovakian athletes in the late sixties and their attitudes toward competition with the former Soviet Union. The second case will be devote to the former Soviet states that through sport either gradually gained prestige in the international sphere or vice versa incurred losses, as was the case for Russia. The aim of this work is to show how sport can shape the political situation both outside of the borders as well as within a country. The primary method used was historical analysis of sports as well as analysis of the internal political situation in countries described and their international position in the given geopolitical situation. In the first example of the former Yugoslavia it is clearly visible how clubs sports as well as national-level sports started the whole process of disintegration of the country and helped establish the newly formed country. The second case takes us into a completely different situation in Spain where sport is supposed to be instrumental in keeping together this multinational kingdom. The second part outlines the issue of the political function of sport internationally. The first case is Czechoslovakia, where hockey fights with the Soviet Union became a powerful ventilation of resistance to the usurper, despite the ruling communist elite. In the second example analyzes the example of Russia and its retreat from the sporting glory after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the need for rebirth of sporting achievements as a political promotion of the country. The results are mainly a description of the structure of sporting events and their subsequent impacts on the happenings both inside and outside of a country and its appearance in front of other states.


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How to Cite

Štaud, O. (2014). Internal and external political function of sport. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 9(1proc), S359-S368.