European National football came together in the summer of 2012 for the 14th occasion. This book sets out to examine the enduring social tensions between supporters and authorities, as well as those between local, national and European identities, which formed the backdrop to the 14th staging of the European National football tournament, Euro2012. The context of the tournament was somewhat unique from those staged in previous years, being jointly hosted for the first time by two post-Communist nations still in the process of social and economic transition. In this respect, the decision to stage Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine bore its own material and symbolic legacies shaping the tournament: the unsettling of neo-liberal imaginings and emergent `East-West' fears about poor infrastructure, inefficiencies and corruption jostled with moral panics about racism and fears surrounding the potentially unfulfilled consumerist expectations of west European supporters.
The book seeks to explore the ideologies and practices invoked by competing national sentiments and examine the social tensions, ambiguities and social capital generating potentials surrounding national, ethnic, European identity, with respect to national football teams, supporters and supporter movements.
This book was published as a special issue of Soccer and Society.
Peter Kennedy lectures in the Sociology of sport at Glasgow Caledonian University. His most recent published work is in applying sociological perspectives to understand the complex relationship between football clubs and fan culture. Christos Kassimeris is associate professor in political science and heads the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at European University Cyprus. He is the author of European Football in Black and White: Tackling Racism in Football, editor of Anti-Racism in European Football: Fair Play for All and has published in journals such as Soccer and Society and Sport in Society. He is also Visiting Research Fellow at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University.
1. Introduction 2. The semiotics of European football 3. Playing with tension: national charisma and disgrace at Euro 2012 4. `They think it's all Dover!' Popular newspaper narratives and images about the English football team and (re)presentations of national identity during Euro 2012 5. German football culture in the new millennium: ethnic diversity, flair and youth on and off the pitch 6. Poles apart: foreign players, Polish football and Euro 2012 7. `Sometimes you go into competitions with little or no expectations': England, Euro 2012 in the context of austerity