Abstract

The Berlusconization of post-Soviet professional football in Ukraine and Russia highlights the close connection between politics, business, and football. The former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi built a position of political power through his connection with professional soccer. In 1986, Berlusconi, a multi-millionaire who made his fortune through construction and television, bought AC Milan. Berlusconi was able to use the popularity gained by owning one of Europe’s most successful clubs to sharpen his political profile to such an extent that he was elected as prime minister of Italy three times. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the mass privatization of assets, football clubs, especially in the Ukraine, fell into the hands of rich businessmen or oligarchs. These oligarchs then used the popularity of football clubs to secure political positions. This system was then copied in Russia where Moscow used football, especially in the Caucasus, to achieve political goals.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2155-8455
Print ISSN
0094-1700
Pages
pp. 55-72
Launched on MUSE
2014-05-10
Open Access
No
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