When Is A National Team Not A National Team?

Steve Menary

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This essay analyzes the anomalies in the recognition of places as countries within world football. Using FIFA's entry criteria, this essay aims to highlight issues of politicization of FIFA membership. Cases of territories that have been rejected are examined and compared to existing members of world football. The essay also looks at what has occurred since FIFA effectively closed the drawbridge and comments on the long-term future for the national teams that do not exist. This paper was first given at the Play The Game conference in Copenhagen on 30 November 2005. The paper was then published in Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics in 2007. An updated version of this paper was presented on 5 March 2008 at Birkbweck, University of London under the title 'FIFA's World Order'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalSport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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