War minus the shooting? Jingoism, the English press, and Euro 96

Jon Garland*, Mike Rowe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The European Championship held in England during June 1996 marked an important stage in the popular rehabilitation of football in Britain. Coupled with the financial revolution that has been occasioned by revenue the game now receives from television companies and sponsors, events such as Euro 96 have seen football become a major aspect of popular culture. Such a transformation would have been unthinkable to many during earlier periods when the game was widely regarded as a 'slum sport,' unloved by mainstream society. This article explores the press coverage of the England team's progress in Euro 96 and argues that the xenophobia that was in abundant evidence cannot be understood in isolation from broader social and political trends. Furthermore, the relation between militarism and the sporting ethic is considered, and it is suggested that the discourse of warfare now tends to inform popular representations of sport, reversing the relationship between the two which characterized earlier periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-95
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes

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