Sport and Nation Building along the Silk Road: Football and identity politics
In many states along the Silk Road, there is a strong link between sport and national identity. Various sports are promoted as ancient as the state itself, and become associated with an identity politics upheld by the state. In recent decades, football has challenged other sports and has become a global dominant force particularly when it comes to finances and popularity.
Football fans from Turkey in the west to China in the east support their local and national teams. Football today is not only a dominant financial player, clubs across the world are also supported by religious and ethnic communities and are represented at various political levels. This talk by Professor Leif Stenberg, Dean of Aga Khan University International – Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, will present and discuss the role sports, especially football, play within several local and national contexts in countries along the Silk Road.