The Media and the Construction of National Identities in Basque Football: Basques and Catalans Booing the Spanish Anthem in the 2009 Cup Championship Final

By Ekain Rojo-Labaien.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Basque Country, which is situated between Spain and France, is a culturally and politically rich country where three different national projects are being constructed by the mass media, using the passion generated by football. This competition clearly reveals the three opposing nations that cohabit in this small country. Furthermore, football in the Basque Country has shown that the mass media with their nationalist discourses, despite being a key actor, do not always obtain the reactions that are sought from citizens. The 2009 Spanish Cup Final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao provided a good example.

Keywords: Basque Country, Three Nations and Two Nation States, Football, Media, National Identities, Spanish Cup Final 2009, Barcelona, Spanish Anthem, Whistling

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.31-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 521.065KB).

Ekain Rojo-Labaien

Nor Research Group, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Donostia - San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

Ekain Rojo-Labaien is a PhD researcher in communication at the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU in Bilbao. He has worked as a journalist in the past so his interests are very close to the media, but they also include national identities, politics and football events. He is mostly researching the way that medias construct national identities using football. The Basque Country is really an interesting place to look for it because of its three national identities in a small territory. Football is crucial to understanding the evolution of politics and national identities in the Basque Country in the 20th century, and to imagine the future close to globalisation processes as well. He is researching football events, taking into account the media's central position there. Without the media, football would have never been the major event it actually is.