Fútbol para todos (soccer for all): Democratization, populist legitimization or quasi-authoritarianism?
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© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.In 2009 the Argentine government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner created Fútbol para Todos (Soccer for All), a programme that led to a policy of direct state intervention in the acquisition of government television rights for the transmission of soccer matches throughout Argentina. Does Fútbol para Todos serve as a tool for the democratization of Argentinean society, a strategy for populist legitimization, or as an embodiment of quasi-authoritarianism? Successive Argentine governments have politicized soccer. Fútbol para Todos has served as a tool for populist legitimization, but also as a strategy designed to legitimize state interference in a historically private domain, promote government propaganda through a new state monopoly, and strengthen governance processes through popular approval under the ambit of the `democratization¿ slogan. Fútbol para Todos thus aims to use the state as an agent in the construction of better governance processes for all, but it also reinforces the historical union between soccer and establishment political power in Argentina. Fútbol para Todos is populist in tone and appears democratic, but also masks a darker undercurrent of quasi-authoritarian tendencies in Argentina.