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TOPIC: “Sign on” they sing, ‘keep politics out of football’ they say

“Sign on” they sing, ‘keep politics out of football’ they say 12 Sep 2018 07:55 #10145

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“Sign on” they sing, ‘keep politics out of football’ they say – how football ‘banter’ is self defeating

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James Nalton
11 September 2018

It has long been argued that politics should be separate from football, but the derisory chants aimed at fans of Liverpool and other clubs proves this wrong.

Politics and football don’t mix, apparently. Politics has nothing to do with football and football should have nothing to do with politics.

But, paraphrasing George Orwell: the opinion that football should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.

In its early forms, football was regularly outlawed by the ruling classes as it promoted unruly behaviour among the peasants and later the working class.

Any large gathering of those not in power has always been treated with suspicion by those in power, and the old days of 25-a-side or more matches between various towns and villages were sometimes seen as problematic.

Then with the industrial revolution it became a pastime for workers to let off steam.

Factory owners realised this lifted the morale of their staff so actively encouraged it, setting up teams, finding areas for them to play and train regularly, and adopting rules devised by various schools and clubs.

Football became a working-class sport.

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