Title

Kicking around international sport: West Germany's return to the international community through football

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2013

Abstract

In 1948, the American Military Government worked with Swiss soccer officials to organise Germany's first post-war international matches, three simultaneous German-Swiss intercity games. The American occupation authorities viewed these games as part of their broader efforts to help teach Germans about democracy, as a way for the international community to begin the process of reaccepting Germany and as a way to raise funds for charitable purposes tied to the reconstruction efforts. These games received tremendous popular support in Germany and Switzerland from football officials, the general public and the press. These German-Swiss games also facilitated Germany's return to the international community by forcing one of the most powerful international sport federations to address Germany's exclusion. Through a combination of materials from military governments, football federations and the press, this article examines how states used the internationalism of sport to obtain diplomatic aims. With these three intercity matches, football provided a venue for Germans to participate in relations with other countries while Germany itself remained excluded from the traditional international relations of diplomats. © 2013 Taylor and Francis.

Publication Name

International Journal of the History of Sport

Volume Number

30

First Page

2031

Last Page

2051

Issue Number

17

DOI

10.1080/09523367.2013.839550

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