Tuesday March 31, 2020

Power, violence and the end of sport

Barbaric Sport: A Global Plague by Marc Perelman. Verso, €11.35. Reviewed by Brendan Daly.

14th July, 2012
The Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936: Adolf Hitler used sport to legitimise the Third Reich. Photo: Getty

Barbaric Sport: A Global Plague by Marc Perelman


As Argentina's ecstatic football supporters celebrated their country's victory over the Netherlands in the 1978 World Cup final at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, their feverish applause drowned out the anguished screams of political dissidents being hacked to pieces by chainsaws just 300 yards away. Football distracted and contaminated the conscience of the masses, even bolstering the country's brutal dictatorship.

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