Bosnia | ‘Joyful fandom’ & the flares of Sarajevo (w/ podcast)

I say this to you: can I still play football three times a week? Can I still play football three times a week? You look at me with your monk’s face, full of an infinite pity, yes, but without understanding, loosened from the realities of this life like a boat that has slipped its rig and floats in the bay. Because you know the truth as I know it. The aesthetic, political, journalistic, academic opportunities afforded a writer in these United States of America—all of them are sadly incompatible with playing a game of football, three times a week.


  • Meho Kodro, after only four months on the job, was fired as Bosnia’s national-team coach in late May 08. Waving banners that said “Association Out,” fans on Jun 1 attended a charity match hosted by Kodro in lieu of a friendly later the same day against Azerbaijan. State TV reported that only a dozen tickets had been sold to the Bosnia-Azerbaijan match in Zenica.
  • New Bosnia coach Meho Kodro, a former national-team captain, named several foreign-based players who had boycotted earlier games to the squad for a 31 Jan 08 friendly versus Japan.
  • In an attempt to bring eight boycotting players back into the international fold, Bosnian football authorities on Dec 17 fired coaches of the national team and all age-group sides. “All players are invited to accept calls by coaches, who will alone be in charge of call-ups, and we expect support by fans, media and public in creating a positive climate,” read the NFSBiH statement.

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3 comments on this post.
  1. Pitch Invasion · It’s in the (inter)net! (December 15):

    [...] Anthropology, ‘joyful fandom’ and the flares of Sarajevo (The Global Game) [...]

  2. The Global Game | Books | In Chicago midfields, Hemon discovers transcendental soccer nation:

    [...] a lot of rivalries which reflected the political conflict that culminated in the war. [Ed.: See 10 Dec 07 for an anthropological approach to the Sarajevo–Zeljenicar [...]

  3. zeljeznicar fan:

    i saw many right things in Ozkan’s analyze but i think it’s impossible for football to facilitate intercultural dialogue.try to go among the ultrafans during a match against a club with which there’s a rivalry based on national membership and you will see why.

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