In FIFA and the Contest for World Football Sugden and Tomlinson provide the first full-length study of FIFA (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) and its role in framing and controlling world football. Interviewing more than seventy influential leaders world-wide and drawing on exclusive documentary sources, the authors demonstrate FIFA's importance in twentieth-century sport, and in an increasingly global consumer culture. The first part of the book covers the origins and organizational characteristics of FIFA, and of the European and South American federations. The second part considers how new and powerful players have emerged in FIFA in the wake of the collapse of empires. The book includes analyses of football's contributions to the growth of nationalism and anti-imperialism; the use of football by ruthless and sometimes corrupt officials and political despots; and its expansion under the influence of increasingly prominent commercial paymasters. Football's role in Africa, Asia and the USA is also illuminated, and FIFA's global mission and rhetoric evaluated.
The book is a valuable addition to the politics and social history of sport, and to the sociology of the global system and the changing world order. It will be of interest to students and researchers in the areas of sport studies, cultural studies and the sociology of popular culture, and to everyone concerned with the social organization of one of the world's most popular sports.
John Sugden is Reader in the Sociology of Sport, and Alan Tomlinson is Professor in Sport and Leisure Studies, both at the University of Brighton.