Game, Set, Match

Israeli Soccer, Fans, and Media Outlets

in Israel Studies Review

This study traces, conceptually and historically, how the relationship between Israeli soccer, its fans, and the varied means of communications has evolved over the last century. We contend that these symbiotic relations, including their effects on soccer devotees, can be divided into four sub-epochs, each having a tremendous effect, not only on the development of soccer and media, but on other interrelated processes. Consequently, we argue that the development of soccer (association football), can be adequately understood only by presenting it in its historical context. The processes of state formation, population growth, urbanization, commercialization and, most germane for present purposes, the development of soccer-media-fan relations, are not isolated but rather interdependent, and therefore of significant importance when discussing soccer and media in the Israel context.

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