Supporting the 'World Game' in Australia: A Case Study of Fandom at National and Club Level

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Hallinan, Christopher J, Hughson, John and Burke, Michael (2007) Supporting the 'World Game' in Australia: A Case Study of Fandom at National and Club Level. Soccer in Society, 8 (2/3). pp. 283-297. ISSN 1466-0970


While soccer football is the most popular participation team sport in Australia, it lags in the media and spectator sport. Media commentators have long suggested that the ‘world’ game is un‐ or less‐Australian because many teams and clubs are founded/organised around ‘ethnic’ non‐Anglo derivatives. Despite the re‐naming of the sport and the re‐construction of the national club competition around a decidedly corporate managerial structure with big city names, clubs in the lower divisions in each state persist with ‘ethnic’ nicknames. This paper draws upon a case study of a Serbian–based club in the south‐eastern suburbs of Melbourne. We contrast this club alongside the newly formed A‐League team. We employed fieldwork observations, interviews and document analysis to capture and interpret the maintenance of a Serbian identity through the actions of supporters. Our findings suggest that despite likely acceptance of the corporate de‐ethicised model, suburban teams with non‐Anglo ethnic derivatives remain a vital area for both sport and their respective communities.

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Additional Information

Special Issue: Fan Culture

Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/14660970701224541
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise & Sport Science (CARES)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > SEO Classification > 9502 Communication
Keywords ResPubID12830, Melbourne's South Eastern suburbs, Australia, soccer football, Serbian based soccer club, media sport, spectator sport
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