GAME OF THE PEOPLE gets a mention in this week’s New European newspaper. The article, “The day football beat fascism” tells the story of how football in Britain has – to some extent – defeated xenophobia.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“GLANCE at today’s Premier League and you see a multi-national circus of talent that has – rightly or wrongly – transformed football in England into the most intensely marketed, lucrative and, arguably, most controversial league across Europe.

Football in Britain relies heavily on foreign players, to such an extent that its critics claim it has damaged, perhaps irreparably, the fabric of the England national team.

But the situation English football finds itself in today is a marked contrast to the xenophobic game we once knew, characterised by periods of isolation, suspicion of foreigners and nervous trips to “the continent”. At one point, football folk even talked about leaving UEFA in the 1970s.

Notwithstanding the very conspicuous racist element of some football grounds down the years, and the reaction to the introduction of black players in the 1960s and through to the 1980s, Britons eyed the antics of footballers in European countries such as Italy and Spain, not to mention behind the “iron curtain”, with no small degree of wariness.”