Ambassadeurs op het sportfront | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 133 Number 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



This article examines the role of sports in the international politics and diplomacy of nation states in wartime. Through a case study on public diplomacy during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), this article shows how sport could influence international public opinion. By focussing on some lesser-known international sporting events from this period, such as the 1937 Labour Olympiad in Antwerp, this article will move away from the dominant focus in sports history on mega-events such as the Olympic Games. Although research about the relationship between sports and diplomacy has grown in recent years, it has barely taken into account the influence of a war context on sport and diplomacy. This article attempts to fill this gap by analysing left-wing Belgian and Spanish newspapers, archives of the Belgian workers' sports movement, and unused source material from the FIFA archive.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): diplomacy; politics; Spain; sports; war
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