Fascism and Football

Published on 29th February 2016 by

A BBC documentary from 2003 on how the three primary fascist dictators of the 20th century – Hitler, Mussolini and Franco – each made football a pillar of their propaganda and ensured that they controlled the sport in their respective countries. Italy won the World Cup twice under Mussolini, in 1934 and 1938, but in 1934 Uruguay pulled out of the tournament and Argentina left out several of their star players due to a Mussolini policy of stealing star players from nations with Italian heritage.

The film uses rare archived footage and features contributions from former stars of the game as well as distinguished Historians, they tell stories of corruption, intimidation, sabotage and even the murder of high profile players carried out by regimes to ensure that they kept a firm grip on one of their most valuable propaganda tools to obtain and then retain power.

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