Géopolitique du football

En football, une défaite n’est jamais définitive, mais elle est toujours passionnée. Pour les adeptes du ballon rond, la FIFA (organe régulateur du football international) aurait dû recevoir le Prix Nobel de la Paix depuis longtemps. Pour les autres, exaspérés par le football et par les émotions qu’il suscite, il ne s’agit plus d’un sport, mais d’un exercice belliqueux qui attise les sentiments nationalistes les plus bas.

Existe-t-il un lien entre le football (ou le sport en général) et le nationalisme et le militarisme ? Au Moyen Age, les sports étaient régulièrement interdits en Angleterre, parce qu’ils étaient pratiqués au détriment de l’entraînement militaire. Après la défaite de la France face à la Prusse de Bismarck, le Baron Pierre de Coubertin (instigateur du renouveau des Jeux Olympiques quelques décennies plus tard) recommanda de remettre à l’honneur le sport, considéré alors comme une forme de préparation militaire.

Dans un match de football, les rituels – drapeaux, hymnes nationaux, chants scandés – et le langage utilisé (“ le début des hostilités ”, “ faire exploser la défense ”, etc.) rappellent des batailles livrées par d’autres moyens. De fait, il est arrivé qu’une guerre soit déclenchée par un conflit en football. En 1969, le Honduras et le Salvador se sont affrontés après un match de qualification pour la Coupe du Monde.

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