Political Discourse in Football Coverage – The Cases of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana
Football coverage in newspapers is both an arena for and a mirror of political discourse within a society. The paper argues that discourses within football coverage referring to political issues reflect dominant – and, possibly, contesting – “truths”, which themselves are linked to power relations and political struggles within a given society. The compari-son of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, two neighbouring countries in very different conditions (particularly with regard to their historical trajectories and the degree of societal consen-sus), and more particularly, the comparison of dominant discourses on the topics of patri-otism, peace and good governance related to the World Cup qualification of both national teams supports the hypothesis of a strong context-relatedness of a politically loaded “foot-ball language”. For instance, whereas in Ghana patriotism is, when football comes in, quickly merged with pan-africanism, the Ivorian team renewed the heated political debate about “Ivorianess” by putting forward a notion of inclusive patriotism.
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