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Keith Laybourn

In the early years of greyhound racing there was always the charge that it was a dissipate and morally dubious activity vulnerable to being manipulated by criminal elements because of the opportunities for malpractice that it offered. The ‘human tote’ operated during the ‘Tote crisis’ of 1932–34 seemed to confirm the potential for illegal totes and fraud. However, the facts do not support the general view of the seedy and criminal nature of the greyhound tracks. Several national surveys of the views of the chief constables of England, Wales, Scotland and the Metropolitan Police, which became increasingly sophisticated, reveal that there were malpractices but that it was on a minor scale. Indeed, the Metropolitan Police withdrew from policing the greyhound tracks in the mid-1930s and most NGRS tracks developed their own security under the control of former CID officers. Beyond the Sabinis, who operated at Brighton and Hove stadium, and Alf White, there is little evidence that gangs ran the tracks as had occurred in horse racing in the ‘turf gang wars’ of the early 1920s. In essence, greyhound racing operated a form of consensual policing.

in Going to the dogs
The politics of discrimination
Keith Laybourn

Mechanical greyhound racing in Britain grew rapidly and was toasted in 1927 by the hit song ‘Everybody’s Going to the Dogs’. Yet from the start it became a major political battleground between the churches and the National Anti-Gambling League, on the one hand, and by the greyhound racing interests, on the other, over the legitimacy of the sport. It was further ravaged by internecine conflict between the National Greyhound Racing Society tracks, geared towards regulating the sport and making it safe for the public, and the smaller flapping tracks, whose prime interest was to survive by opening as often as possible. This internal conflict made the sport vulnerable to the broader attacks of the anti-gamblers, in the country and in Parliament. These can be seen in the political battles over municipal control of the tracks, Sunday closing, and the closure of the tote between 1932 and 1934. In the end, greyhound racing was always vulnerable, but survived, undergoing further challenges during the Second World War.

in Going to the dogs
The impact of Paris Université Club’s US tours and the individual in sports diplomacy
Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff

Meet Martin Feinberg, the sole American basketball player on the storied Paris Université Club (PUC) roster in 1956. That December, Feinberg organised a team tour through the American Midwest, the first such journey undertaken by a French basketball club. PUC’s travels (including a 1962 visit) were not subsidised by the US government and were thus not ‘official’ exchanges. The trips were nevertheless strong examples of sport’s ability to carry social and political messages with deep consequences. Basketball was first played in Europe in 1893 in a small sports hall located at 14, rue de Trévise, in Paris, France. Basketball, however, remained a niche endeavour in a country that favoured British sports, notably football and rugby. The young PUC players who travelled to the United States were thus not the ‘typical’ representatives of their generation. Yet many of them, even the more anti-American socialists, came away with favourable impressions of France’s sister republic in most matters, save that of race relations. ‘Barnstorming Frenchmen’ examines how the earliest French-American basketball exchanges created lasting impressions on young players in ways traditional diplomacy and diplomats rarely could. Set against the larger context of post-war French anxieties and reconstruction, French–American Cold War diplomacy and race relations in both countries, these trips are noteworthy.

in Sport and diplomacy
When the talking stops
Carole Gomez

According to the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, the independence of sport is one of the most sacrosanct principles. Proclaimed in the Olympic and FIFA Charters, the ‘autonomy’ of sport has to be protected and preserved. Yet, in light of the financial dimension of sport alone, its separation from politics is in reality a myth. In the social stakes, sport has become a classic field of intervention for politics. In this light sport may be seen as an ideal way to sanction or punish a state that is considered unacceptable. The sports boycott then becomes a diplomatic tool to be wielded alongside other political tools. The chapter presents a conceptual understanding of boycotts and their place in global diplomacy, as well as familiar examples from the Cold War and more recently.

in Sport and diplomacy
Alexander Cárdenas
Sibylle Lang

In this exploratory chapter, the authors investigate if and how sport may be used as a tool to advance the success of peace support operations (PSO). This is done based on a review of existing literature in both the Sport for Development and Peace and PSO fields, as well as information on relevant activities going on ‘in the field’ and a first round of interviews with Colombian and German officers. The authors start with an examination of sport as a tool for peace building and the nexus between sport and the military. Outlining the characteristics and challenges of today’s complex PSOs, they identify docking points and ways in which sport may be used to mitigate those challenges. The authors focus on four areas: multinational military–military cooperation, international civil–military interaction and PSO relations with the local population and the local authorities and armed forces. Acknowledging some restraints due to the nature of these operations’ constellations and dynamics, they propose six preliminary models for the use of sport to support mission success and encourage academia, the military and SDP practitioners to look further into the field.

in Sport and diplomacy
Abstract only
The United States, the two Chinas and the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics
Rachel Vaughan

This chapter examines the inter-relationship of sport and diplomacy with specific reference to the 1960 Winter Olympic Games (held in Squaw Valley, California). More specifically, it evaluates State Department involvement in the ongoing issue of the recognition of the ‘two Chinas’ during the Cold War, with specific reference to international sport. Despite long-standing official non-involvement in international sporting matters, hosting the 1960 Games focused US diplomatic attention on the opportunities and problems presented by the Olympics within the wider Cold War. Crucially, the State Department extended considerable behind-the-scenes efforts both before and during the Squaw Valley Games in an attempt to ensure Nationalist Chinese participation. Overall, this chapter demonstrates that, despite claims of non-involvement, the State Department specifically utilised international sport – and particularly the Olympics – as a tool of diplomacy during the Cold War. This was drawn into particularly sharp focus when the Games were being hosted on American soil, as they were in Squaw Valley in 1960.

in Sport and diplomacy
Colonial cultures of sport and diplomacy in Afghanistan, 1919–49
Maximilian Drephal

In 1919, Afghanistan won its independence from British suzerainty. In each subsequent year, the state celebrated the event by staging military parades and organising cultural programmes – and sporting competitions. This chapter considers the independence games from the perspective of British diplomats in Afghanistan who also took part in the contests. In particular, the chapter studies the reports written by British diplomats on the games and explores how notions of fair play and athleticism were projected on the independent state of Afghanistan. The chapter asks if these reports are indicative of larger political and/or colonial ambitions. Complicating conventional assumptions on the primacy of the political in diplomatic relations, this chapter suggests that the physical encounter constituted a central feature in British–Afghan relations.

in Sport and diplomacy
The 1980 Moscow boycott through contemporary Asian–African perspectives
Joseph Eaton

The chapter re-evaluates the 1980 boycott of the Moscow Summer Games, challenging the conventional wisdom that that boycott was a failure. Historians of sport and diplomacy have usually studied the 1980 boycott through the strained efforts of the Carter administration’s clumsy struggles to rally NATO allies, Australia and traditional Olympic sporting powers into not going to Moscow in retaliation for the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In fact, American sports diplomacy might be judged differently when seen from the perspectives of non-Western and non-sporting nations, particularly in Africa and Asia. More precisely, engagement in the boycott suited nationalistic purpose as perceived in 1980. ‘Carter’s boycott’ was effectively localised/nationalised, if outside Carter’s stated aim of making the Soviets pay a price for their aggression in Afghanistan. Rather than reading the 1980 boycott through the lens of the Soviet invasion and the beginnings of the Second Cold War, contemporary non-Western perspectives on the boycott showed a wide breath of positive interpretations/results from Olympic non-participation– ranging from public display of governmental fiscal austerity by corrupt regimes, to support for a growing pan-Islamic movement, to enforcing authoritarian rule at home.

in Sport and diplomacy
Individuals, institutions, ideologies
Alan Tomlinson

This chapter considers the ways in which selected perspectives from the new public diplomacy, as well as established forms of diplomatic study of both state and non-state actors, can illuminate and enhance an understanding of the history and growth of the governing body of world football and the ‘continental’ confederations recognised by FIFA. It reflects on the ways in which a rigorous study of sporting institutions such as FIFA can contribute to an understanding of the crossover between sport development, sport governance and related forms of diplomacy. A new analysis of the cultural and political dynamics of the developments of FIFA’s regional bodies warrants a forensic approach to the analysis of the historical phases of the Confederations’ emergence. The chapter therefore considers the cases of the formative years of CONCACAF and Oceania, small players initially in global football politics but by 2016 providing fifty-two full members of FIFA, almost a quarter of the powerbrokers making up the 209 members of its Congress. In conclusion, the generally unacknowledged contribution of sport governing bodies to forms of diplomatic practice and relations is reconsidered, in the comparative light of other studies within the book and the detailed consideration in this chapter of the selected phase of FIFA and Confederation development.

in Sport and diplomacy
David Rowe

As a settler-colonial nation in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s geopolitical positioning is consistently questioned. Australia’s relationship with Asia has become especially significant following substantial levels of Asian migration since the Vietnam War, and the increased economic importance to Australia of, successively, Japan, China and, potentially, of Indonesia and India. Sport, among other cultural forms, has been championed as a promising domain of diplomacy (broadly defined as encompassing political, economic, social and cultural exchange in both formal and informal environments). The opportunities for ‘football diplomacy’ are greatly enhanced when a common continental or regional governance structure allows Australia to be defined as an Asian sporting nation and so to host and participate in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Here, as in all sporting events, nations engage in overt competition, but this repositioning of Australia for a sporting purpose is symbolically unifying, and may signify a new mode of integration and collective identification that situates Australia within Asia in the Asian century. This chapter divines lessons from this case study that may apply in informative and useful ways to the wider analytical field of sport and diplomacy.

in Sport and diplomacy