Populism and political motives for hosting the FIFA World Cup: Comparing England 1966 and Russia 2018

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


As a popular field of endeavour, sport has always been exploitable for political capital. As modern sport emerged as a commercial enterprise open to entrepreneurs, opportunities for its exploitation by power elites increased. Large sporting events, described as “mega-events” involve large-scale project management of resources comparable to other large-scale public works projects, often involving public infrastructure. We analyse government involvement, aims and objectives relating to two FIFA World Cup finals - 1966 and 2018 - highlighting common and differentiating themes. From government perspectives, these themes broadly relate to issues of achieving popularity amongst large segments of the population, by appealing to common interests and national pride. Therefore, we identify the use of the sporting mega-event as a marketing approach or platform to achieving a populist consensus.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopulism in Sport, Leisure, and Popular Culture
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000363920
ISBN (Print)9780367356385
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Bryan C. Clift and Alan Tomlinson.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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