Playing Politics – Call for Participants

Saturday 14 June 2014

Playing Politics: Politics in Sport Festival

Call for participants

14 June 2014, Playing Politics, Chile Solidarity Campaign banner @ People's History Museum‘The cell was one of the team changing rooms… By the entrance to the tunnel where the players would go out onto the pitch, a heavy machine-gun was mounted.’

British eye-witness, imprisoned in 1973.

In 1973 General Pinochet led a military coup in Chile. Foreigners, trade unionists and anti-Pinochet protesters were rounded up and taken to detention camps. One such camp was the National Stadium in Santiago, where several detainees were tortured and executed. Others were forced into exile overseas.

Four years later, with Pinochet’s regime in place, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) arranged a friendly against Chile, which took place in the National Stadium on 15 June 1977. The SFA argued that there was no politics in sport. The issue was raised in the House of Commons, a group of Chilean exiles were refused a meeting with the SFA, a week long picket was organised outside SFA headquarters and many fans boycotted Scotland matches. Despite all of this, the game went ahead. Scotland won the match 4-2.

To commemorate the anniversary of ‘the match of shame’ and to celebrate the start of the World Cup in Brazil, we want to investigate when the worlds of politics and sport have come together. Our day long festival will bring out more of our sporting collections and visitors can get involved with lots of political fun and games.

We are looking for groups or individuals to contribute to the day, with short presentations or displays about anything related to politics and sport.

Topics covered may include:

  • How politics have influenced sport
  • How sport has influenced politics
  • Is there politics in sport?
  • Sporting boycott of South Africa during the Apartheid era
  • The controversy surrounding the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
  • Racism in sport
  • Homophobia in sport
  • Women in sport
  • Debate about the World Cup in Brazil

If you’d like to get involved, please email your name, contact details, information about yourself or your organisation and a short (250 word) proposal to catherine.odonnell@phm.org.uk by Thursday 1 May.

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