Following the club’s 11th European Cup win, an 1985 article from the archive of History Today explains why the shadow of fascism hangs over Real’s stellar history. During the Franco years, the ostracised regime used football to initiate a gradual road towards acceptance of the the entry of Spain into NATO in 1982 and the EEC in 1985. The Catalans and the Basques, however, used football as a means of popular anti-fascist protest | DUNCAN SHAW (photos and captions added by TS)
On June 21st, 1964, an ecstatic crowd of 120,000, awash in a sea of red and yellow, cheered and applauded Generalissimo Francisco Franco as he stood up to leave the Madrid summer evening gathering. This was no mass rally of political affirmation that the dictator was leaving, but a football match. Spain had just beaten the Soviet Union in the Final of the European Nations’ Cup; so much more than just a football victory: a triumph for international co-operation over Cold War hostility, but, conversely, perhaps also a triumph over the old Red enemies of the Civil War.
By ANDREW JENNINGS*
(April 22) – Juan Antonio Samaranch, who has died aged 89, led the International Olympic Committee to its greatest prosperity and its worst corruption scandal. He took control as commercial sponsorship turned to sport for new marketing opportunities and reoriented the games into a marketing vehicle for the world’s best-known consumer products. Continue reading
By PEGGY MORTON, TML Daily, February 27, 2010
THE self-serving domination of the rich who use the Olympics for their own ends has a sordid history which shows how the domination of finance capital and the most reactionary elements is blocking a human-centred approach. While everyone speaks in the name of high ideals, the fact is that those who control the Olympics have used this control for the most anti-social aims. For more than 40 years of the post-World War II period, that is, following the defeat of fascism by the world’s people and the achievements which came from that victory, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) was actually led by pro-fascist elements. Continue reading
By ANNE-MARIE GARCÍA*
SUMMER is traditionally the high season for sports, filled with triumphs and records, joy and celebration, goals and dreams. In 1998, however, the high spirits of the season were dampened, perhaps more than ever, by the problem of drug use.
For the first time ever, for example, the law was forced to intervene in the Tour de France cycling race, with the winning team’s coaches and Italian racer Mapei taken into custody. Continue reading