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Political Discourse in Football Coverage – The Cases of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana

Andreas Mehler ()

No 27, GIGA Working Papers from GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies

Abstract: Football coverage in newspapers is both an arena for and a mirror of political discourse within a society. The paper argues that discourses within football coverage referring to political issues reflect dominant - and, possibly, contesting - 'truths', which themselves are linked to power relations and political struggles within a given society. The comparison of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, two neighbouring countries in very different conditions (particularly with regard to their historical trajectories and the degree of societal consensus), and more particularly, the comparison of dominant discourses on the topics of patriotism, peace and good governance related to the World Cup qualification of both national teams supports the hypothesis of a strong context-relatedness of a politically loaded 'football language'. For instance, whereas in Ghana patriotism is, when football comes in, quickly merged with pan-africanism, the Ivorian team renewed the heated political debate about 'Ivorianess' by putting forward a notion of inclusive patriotism.

Keywords: football; political discourse; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; patriotism; good governance; peace (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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