The role of football in the Yugoslav crisis. “Nationalisation” of the football fandom in the former Yugoslavia

  • Ivan Đorđević The Institute of Ethnography SASA Belgrade
football, fans, the Yugoslav crisis, ethnic conflicts, politicisation


The strong connection between everyday politics and football fandom represents a distinctive characteristic of a football culture in contemporary Serbia. This paper focuses on the issues related to strong political influence of “nationalised” political space in the former Yugoslavia that caused specific politicisation of football supporters in the country. I argue that political capital of the football fans derives from the specific social and political environment that characterised the process of disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. The aim of this article is to emphasize the connection between growing nationalisation of politics and specific events that took place on football stadiums during the late 1980s and the early 1990s in the SFRY. Through the analysis of the particular events from that period, this article aims to analyse the causes that led to transformation of the subculture of the football fans to political agents par excellence.


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