Defence and attack: empire, nation and resistance in inter-war football in Malta

Armstrong, Gary and Mitchell, Jon (2011) Defence and attack: empire, nation and resistance in inter-war football in Malta. Social Identities, 17 (3). pp. 303-320. ISSN 1363-0296

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A nation's politics and socio-cultural identity can sometimes be best considered through the lens of Association Football (soccer). Examining football in the Mediterranean island of Malta in the inter-war years of 1920-1940 this paper focuses its analysis on the phenomenon that is the game of football and the epi-phenomena it provokes and sustains. In the tiny archipelago that constitutes the Maltese islands, the game as it was played and administered in this era had implications for the British colonialists, the refugees that fled Central Europe for Maltese shores and the indigenous Maltese peoples. In these years the game was played out amidst, variously, the island's unique party politics, intra-district rivalries, and historical considerations of reputation and social class. It was also to become integral to the contestations around anti-colonial sentiment and the debates over national identity. The game in Malta was thus a facilitator of both local and global processes and played an understated role in the pursuit of independence. This examination of the specific Maltese context may well shed light upon broader processes within the international game which lies at the intersection of the global and the local.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Jon Mitchell
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:08
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2012 15:38
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