Professional soccer is almost always intertwined with politics, and the Zionist-Israeli case is no exception. This lecture explores the complex relations between Zionism, FIFA, and the international sporting community. Since the 1920s, delegations of the Jewish community in Mandatory Palestine have attempted to officially join the international organization, yet, simultaneously expressed a deep indifference to its procedures and worldview.
The lecture presents the first contacts between the parties, the Zionist participation in the World Cup qualifiers, and the effect of international collaborations on how soccer was played in Mandatory Palestine and later in the State of Israel. Moreover, the lecture shows what the relations between FIFA and the Zionist movement could teach us about contemporary soccer-related debates, such as the Super League and the Qatar World Cup.
Lecture: Dr. Ofer Idels, LMU Munich
Discussants: Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner, LMU Munich & Dr. Ghilad H. Shenhav, LMU Munich
You can find more information on the website of the Jewish History and Culture chair.