Reflections on soccer, sovereignty and the state of exception uri icon


  • © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In this paper, I examine soccer, sovereignty and the state of exception. The paper is a pedagogical tool for undergraduate students in order for them to learn about sovereignty and the `state of exception¿ through soccer, the world¿s most popular sport. I begin by examining differing conceptions of sovereignty and the state of exception. I then highlight the fate of soccer under various states of exception. I focus on Pinochet¿s Chile, but also provide examples from the Argentinean military junta, Nazi Germany and El-Sisi¿s Egypt. I then reflect about soccer, sovereignty, and the state of exception in relation to Fédération Internationale de Football Association. I offer concluding remarks about soccer and states of exception. I argue that states of exception are in theory opportunities for change because they expose the naked aggression of states, but in practice they represent a danger for soccer players, fans and democracy.

Publication date

  • May 19, 2018