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The Culture of Football - Football Culture

A well-known researcher and writers, who studied the economic, political and social aspects of societies, interviewed on football and football culture in his keynote program on TV...

We will look at a very different dimension of football, which is almost a part of our lives, that has never been dealt with.... Footballers, coaches, technıcal directors and, of course, referees... That's what football looks like on the field...and, of course, the fans on the stadiums...

Have you ever thought about it? How Can a person be a fan? Why would he be a fan? How does it feel to be a fan that makes you cry, makes you laugh, makes you shout, makes you experience pleasure or sadness that cannot be measured by anything in the world, causes stomach cramps and heart attacks? 60-year-old people who fight like children; home watched TV matches, for good luck changing seats, even when the goal was thrown when going to the bathroom, “this place was lucky” he did not leave the toilet until the end of the match, " How did it take over ourselves?

And most importantly, how do millions come into common belief when they watch their own country's team?... How do national cultures, traditions and believes mark a simple game where everyone plays with the same rules? With EmreKongar, we try to find answers to all these questions and look at a completely different face of football.

THE CULTURE OF FOOTBALL?...OR CULTURAL FOOTBALL?

I wonder, how does the national character of each country reflect on green fields? How does history and culture affect the football played by national teams? And more importantly, how do these cultures or national identities get affected by football? For this, let's look at the importance of football for the countries and the relationship between the national identities of societies. Because football has become an object of power and power in economic, political, cultural and social terms.

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BRAZIL

Wide beaches, coffee, Samba and football..

Here are the most common words in the world for Brazil. They call themselves the country of football. Indeed, here, football is the biggest symbol of national identity... The Brazilians are very proud of their football because they believe that they actually reflect their national character... And football players on the field, the fans on the trıbunes, football channel reflects this national spirit all over the world...

One of the links that holds Brazil, the fifth largest and most populous country in the world, is undoubtedly the love of football. This love was so great that Brazil was the only country that investigated why it lost the World Cup for two years.

In fact, Brazil is always one of the countries that comes to mind when it comes to Latin America's ‘crisis’. The Brazilians are always on the agenda of the world economy with the fluctuations in their economies, high inflation rates and abundant zeros of their money

When this happens, football is becoming a drug for Brazil that makes it forget about the troubles and, more importantly, makes the world say, “we are here too”. Therefore, football achievements in Brazil are extremely important in terms of national identity. In Brazil, where football and World-wide success can be a source of many problems, politicians are also trying to benefit from this situation.

Football in Brazil is also important in terms of political career. For example, Fernando Collork was the President of the football club ‘Centro DeportivoAlagoano’ before being President of Brazil. This is another indication of the importance of footballforthe people of Brazil. According to the Brazilians, the most important position in the country after the President is the coach of the national team... Brazil also managed to create a style of football itself. According to many, this style is inspired by the famous Samba dance in Brazil's culture. Brazilian footballers also reflect Samba movements that have become almost national dance in this country with the football they play subconsciously. In this case, the way they play football aesthetically is very enjoyable.

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ARGENTINE

Military coups, Tango, sadness, economic crises and football...

Anywhere in the world, these words always tell about Argentine... In fact, arrival of football in Argentine coincided with the years of identity crisis due to the influx of immigrants and the youth being the majority of the population. For this reason, football has become one of the important elements of the new national identity, just like in Brazil. And the football field is an important stage in this tangos country where blacks, whites and metises play a joint role, even an arena. Football is a symbol of the society’s ideals, just like in Brazil.

The minority groups in Argentina are more prominent in other areas thanks to football.

Some politicians and intellectuals of the time saw football as an excellent tool for the influence of less developed cultural groups. The supporters of peronism have integrated football with the regime, rather than with Argentina, so they managed to tie the broad lower classes to the regime.

Therefore, the changes in the regime are reflected in football. So it was claimed that after the collapse of peronism in 1955, Argentine footballers lost confidence in themselves and were therefore defeated in Sweden on World Cup1958.

Before 1958, the Argentinean style in football developed independently of external influences. However, after 1958, European example in terms of Economy and football began to be taken in the country. In fact, football has become officially imitated the europeanschool. However, between 1974-1982 after Cesar Menotti, who was the coach of the Argentinean national team,took management in his hands, ‘Argentinean style’ gained weight again.

In the game deception and extremely intelligent instant inventions are the most important features of Argentine-style football today.

AFRICA

Rainforests, Safari, poverty and football...

The old continent, which has lived under colonial rule for many years, these words define it the best. Like everything in Africa, football has been influenced by the colonial history of this continent. The states that exploited the continent had an impact on African countries.

Of course, it’scolonialist statesthat brought football to Africa. And the colonialists have always prevented football from becoming so important as to form a national identity in these countries. For this reason, African history of self-interest began after the 1960s; that is, when the colonial period ended.

And the new leaders of the independent nations began to use football as a national identity as they were re-creating their country. In Africa, football has increasingly become a tool that connects the country and the natives. And it went so far that African countries started to head to the countries where they used to be colonies by means of football.

Today, almost all African teams have the ambition to play and win for all African and Negroes beyond their own country. Of course, in this case, the politicians in Africa are still using football to increase their popularity. When the President of Senegal heard of the victory of his team, he left his trip to France and returned to his country and joined celebrations with his people.

The central point of these celebrations in Senegal was the palace of the President. Thousands of supporters met there to celebrate the victory of the second round. The President's closeness to the public and the destruction of the football's bureaucracy and the barriers between the people are the major factor in the transformation of celebrations into a national victory.

Likewise, after Senegal eliminated from the Cup, the President was again the head of the microphones to console people.

Senegalese supporters also stand on the football tribunes in their traditional clothes.Under all this lies a national identity, which is actually beyond football. For Senegalese people football is a tool to show this national identity to the whole world...

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JAPAN

Samurai, traditions, technology and finally football...

The country where the sun rises is the best place to talk about it. It was the beginning of the 1970s the turning point in the modernisation of Japanese football. Football was first played in universities among young people. On top of that, giant Japanese companies started sponsoring these teams to refresh their image. In this case, football in Japan began to develop rapidly.

However, since the owners of the teams are companies, it was forbidden to transfer unless the team was closed. Because the football players were the employees of those companies. In fact, this was the result of the tradition of "people should be loyal to the same company throughout their lives" that prevailed in Japan... Japanese people certainly do not take good care of changing jobs and see it as an unfaithful act.

In this case, the football league in Japan was created as a result of advertisingresearch of the companies. As Japanese started to get tired of traditional sports like Sumo starting from the 80's, in this period popularity of football has grown. The target audience of renewed football was Japanese youth.

Japanese fans, who used to be passive on this field, are now standing next to their teams with their faces and special cheers painted so that they don't interfere with their rivals around the world.

Japanese women, in fact, use a macho language that they can't use outside the field, and enjoy the freedom that football brings.

On the other hand, in Japan, where no violence has been seen on the field before, several incidents have started since football's role in everyday life has increased.

However, these are quite different from the classic violence we are used to see in other countries of the world. In particular, the violent events of Japan-specific respect and apology are very interesting.

The Japanese national team also carries respect on the field that exists in Japanese traditions. Football players are extremely hard-working. Everybody's always running. And everybody's very disciplined. The game order never changes. The footballers are just doing what they're given. There's almost no free playing player.

GERMANY

Industry, discipline, beer, and football...

Germany, which has always played the leading role in the important periods of the world history, can be defined with these words.

When the German league was founded in 1900, the first task of the authorities was to extract ‘suitable’ teams that could play on the football matches. The teams of the working class described them as "wild" and were therefore not allowed to play. However, after a while, the German Football Federation began to ignore the number and power of these working class teams. And finally, the road to the field has been opened to the workers.

The Federation representing the middle class has enabled these clubs to set up a committee of managers from the middle class, and thus took control.

It’s possible to see very chauvinistic behaviour in the international matches from German fans. Germany's upholding behaviour recently appeared in matches against France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland. Also, the fear of the German’s violence at the international matches, the fact that the match against England in April 20, 1994 was postponed for one day because it was Hitler's birthday. Today, it’s possible to see the German right-wingers in the 'gambled crusade' forms, especially those played by the Nazis abroad.

The playing styles of the players in the German national team famous for their discipline resemble the functioning of a machine. Here, all players perform their own functions. There aren't many stars in the team, everyone's almost equally talented.

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TURKEY

Sea, sun, tourism, hospitality, nicknamed the newcomers at the western World Cup, and football...

East and West, connecting Europe with Asia, the world knows Turkey like that... The British brought football to Turkey. Before that, there was an anti-Islam debate. Then ‘football’, has become the most popular sport in the 1930s. Despite the wide interest in football until the mid-80s, international encounters often dominated the frustration.

With social, economic and political changes in the '80s, the debate on opening up to the West and the issue of national identity began to come in fore. Football was also an area where the east-west, national-international discussions emerged during this period.

Turkeyin 1996 played in the European Championship in England, and for the first time in the history of the national team was playing in final.Turkish people were very pleased with this success, but it was not effective in changing their unbalanced relationship with Europe. The fear of being crushed and even humiliated in Europe was felt everywhere.

In 1991, in the jubilee game of the German goalkeeper Schumacher, played between Fenerbahche – Atletico, Madrid,electricity was cut off, the headlines put it as the most important indicator: ‘We are disgraced with Germany and Spain!'and 'Europe is laughing at us!’.

In fact, today, the Turkish national team participated in the international football matches to prove itself to Europe, the Turks to show what is dominant sense. In many countries of the world,there are janissary soldiers for Turkish football, and many countries are recognized with their unique nicknames.

Samba dancers..Matadors... Samurais..the Asian tigers.. Panzers.. African lions.. Spaghetti.. Rooster... Red demons... and tango dancers... These are nicknames given by other countries and especially by the foreign press to the teams participating in the World Cup.. Spanish Matador, Japanese Samurai, Argentinean tango dancers, Brazilian samba dancersand finally Rooster for the French...In fact, these nicknames show the image of the country in the eyes of foreigners. In this case, these nicknames represent the nationalist feelings of different countries and different nations. And then these nationalist feelings, they go out on the field and start fighting. In this way, football, which is the most popular sport in the world today, becomes an arena where different cultures and nationalities meet. Here, let's look at this size of football now.

NATIONAL CHARACTERS AND CULTURES DESCEND ONTO THE FIELD

“Behind-the-scenes industrial football, which has become one of the largest industries in the world, is also a giant arena in which secret nationalism contention is reflected on the field. And here in this arena, the teams that run a ball, their culture, national characters, and even their own world views are reflected in the game they play on the field. Today, everyone is familiar with the attacking and moving football played by the Samba dancing Brazilians, the panzer German disciplined game system, the Matador Spaniard, and even the Samurai Japanese or Asian Tiger Koreans' spirited and stubborn style that never leaves the game. With the arrival of these national characters and cultures on the field, different types of nationalism can inevitably face it. In this case, interesting images appear.

EXPLOITER AND EXPLOITED FACE TO FACE

In the first match of this year's World Cup, the conflict between one exploiter and the other exploited of the two countries was reflected on the green field. The rooster, the symbol of France, was against the African lion, Senegal.

In fact, the world champion, France, who took the last Cup at home, was busy before this year's match, with the strengthening of the extreme right-wing and nationalist currents at its home country. The French had the foundations of the social state in the squares in order to stop this development that threatens the contemporary structure of their country. As the French went to the World Cup, the anti-right demonstrations and banners were already stamped on the streets of France.

It was also reflected in Korea and Japan, thousands of miles away from France. The order of the French national team on the field was almost like a new response to extreme right movements.

France, that for years, exploited the children of the old continent, this time showed it on the example of its own national team. The number of French players in the French national team was extremely low. In fact, the French showed everyone that there was a just and egalitarian rule on the basis of success with this view.

And the expected day has come... While France was playing against its ex-colony, Senegal, all the squares in the country were filled..after the match, the laughing party was Senegal... And interestingly, most Senegalese footballers who celebrated their victories with ethnic dance figures were French citizens.

Football is important in ensuring delicate balance...

In a serious period, France maintained a delicate balance through the peace of football. The French supported the old colonies in Senegal after they were eliminated from the Cup. And that support continued until Senegal was eliminated in Turkey. There was no discussion of nationalism between France and Senegal. But, in other matches, the movements of anti-nationalism often marked the game.

FASCISM AND FOOTBALL

The example of Italy and Spain

As the world was mooving towards the World War II, Mussolini used football as a propaganda tool in Italy. The players of the Italian national team have been threatened with the closed doors to show the power of fascist Italy to the whole world... And this threat, or rather, this fear has been successful. Italy's national team became the world champion that year.

The Italians eliminated by South Korea in this year's World Cup match lose their tolerance once more. The review arrows were turned over to the referee who ruled the match. The Italians who could not get their speed, kicked the South Korean star, Ahn, out of the club.

A similar approach was also seen in Spain. During the Second World War, fascist Franco ruled his country with the “3F” formula found by the Portuguese Salazar. Football, fiesta and the secret of Fatima, religion... That's why Franco’s administration gave great importance to football. The Real Madrid team, founded in Franco’s era, is one of the most famous and strongest clubs in the world today. South Koreans eliminated the Spaniards after the Italians in the last World Cup. There was a total shock in Spain. The critics of the enthusiastic Spanish audience turned to the referees, just like in Italy.

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Football was on the agenda of the European Union summit...

The World Cup matches also marked the European Union summit held in Seville, Spain. For the first time in more than 30 years, the Union held its summit meeting with a full two and a half hours delay. Because the British Prime Minister Tony Blair had watched the English-Brazilian match.

The coolness of the British who watched this encounter on the screen at the giant press centre was actually showing the national character of the islanders.

The grieving side after the match was England. However, the British hooligans who joined the tribesmen were not at the summit in Seville. On the first day of the summit, it was also held for the first time in European Union history. Because the German Prime Minister wanted to watch his national team play with the United States. The German journalists who followed the European Union summit were pleased with the success of Germany. On the second day of the summit, football was still on the agenda.

South Korea and Turkey came from Prodi, President of the European Commission, who predicted for the Senegal games. Prodi answered the question, “of course European teams, Spain and Turkey”. The voices and enthusiasm of the Spaniards who supported their national teams against South Korea reflected their national identity. In this identity, of course, there were traces of Flamenco and bullfights. The game is in overtime.

This time it's time for penalty shots. The breath was held and the footballers ' penalty kicks began. Spanish football player Harlequin missed the goal, the Matadors suddenly blew away. The sadness of the people in Seville actually reflected the mobility of the Mediterranean culture.

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