‘Filip’ or flop? Managing public relations and the Latin American reaction to the 1966 FIFA World Cup

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JournalSoccer and Society
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Oct 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 18 Oct 2019
Number of pages13
Early online date18/10/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The 1966 FIFA World Cup has become part of the iconography of its hosts and champions, England. Extant literature has tended to focus on the cultural and symbolic legacy of the tournament, or engaged with diplomatic relations between Britain and North Korea. Contrastingly, we use archival sources from footballing and government institutions to explore the less studied topic of how the tournament was reported and perceived in Latin America, where England had commercial interests and influence, but where there were allegations that FIFA, the FA and even the UK government manipulated the tournament to the advantage of England and other European teams. We provide fresh perspectives on the social and cultural significance of the 1966 FIFA World Cup by analysing how the tournament’s organizers attempted to manage the situation and resulting negative public relations, and how 1966 fits within longer-term footballing and diplomatic relations between England and Latin America.

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