Serious about soccer

[Story and photo by Mike Foley: Originally published online through the BYU-Hawaii “Newsroom,” September 18, 2002]

BYUH Prof. Mike AllenA BYU-Hawaii history professor literally used the arenas of the 2002 World Soccer Cup matches in Korea and Japan to further his research on nationalism and sports as an idea as well as a mode of behavior.

Associate Professor J. Michael Allen [pictured at right], who is Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, explained he found the idea of using the World Cup matches in Korea and Japan irresistible for several reasons: The World Cup, which is usually held in Latin America or Europe, was co-hosted for the first time ever, by two countries with a “very rocky history over the last 125 years.”

“I was interested to see what would happen when an event that is watched by the world — hundreds of millions watching every day — is hosted by two countries that are not particularly friendly with each other. The World Cup, more than the Olympics, is a place where nationalism is on display,” Allen said.

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