In an Olympic year with accusations of state-sponsored doping and even state-sanctioned football hooliganism at Euro 2016, here’s a guide to how politics and organised sport have clashed for more than a century.


Fair Game? Politics Tackling Sport! looks back at controversial moments when sport and politics have mixed. Some are tragic, others sinister or bizarre; but all are the subject of hot dispute.


Journalist John Leonard investigates – and shows how sport has been cynically manipulated by some of the most unsavoury characters in world history, where athletes and fans have ultimately ended up as losers.

  • How Jesse Owen’s foiled Adolf Hitler’s planned propaganda coup at the Berlin Olympics
  • When the FA shamed England by ordering its players to give the Nazi salute
  • How and why rugby union bosses defied calls to boycott apartheid South Africa
  • Why El Salvador and Honduras went to war over a World Cup qualifier
  • When Soviet and Hungarian water polo players fought a proxy Cold War battle in the pool
  • How England’s rugby players were welcomed to the Irish nationalist shrine of Croke Park
  • The sporting battle for US civil rights in baseball and at the Olympic Games
  • Plus the good news – inspirational moments on the sport/politics interface, featuring Nelson Mandela, and more.


Click here for more information, or to read a sample from Fair Game?