Major sports events (MSE) include the well-known sports mega-events (SME), the summer Olympic Games and the FIFA football World Cup Finals, as well as other, lower order, though major international, sports events such as the Winter Olympics, the UEFA football championships, the Commonwealth Games and Track and Field World Championships. In addition, major events such as the World Cups for rugby union and cricket, and the annual Six Nations Championships in rugby, are also thought to contribute in varying degrees to social and economic well-being and development in Europe. The main objective of this article is to critically reflect on the legacies for the imagined community of Europe associated with MSE/SME, and in particular the UEFA football championships. Although consideration will be given to material legacies the article focuses mainly on the representational legacies - how Europe as a whole is represented and how participant football nations are represented - in connection with the second largest football spectacle in the world. The article thus seeks to engage with debates about the idea of Europe and European culture via consideration of European football.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science