Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Ventresca, Robert


Kings University College


This thesis explored the use of soccer in international relations with a focus on the perception of Italy and athletic success within the Anglo-American press. There is an emphasis on the reorganization of the sport during the 1930s as well as on fascist ideals in sports, particularly within Serie A soccer and the Italian national team. Furthermore, I focus on the perceptions of the nation within the press and foreign public opinion through sports journalism; how the narrative surrounding Italian soccer and athletes may reflect the opinions of the nation and its political ideology in general. It was during this period where the popularity of soccer in Italy was entrenched in the political ideology of Mussolini as it became conflated with fascist values and symbolism; this is explored through the Italian athletic participation on a global stage, particularly the 1934 and 1938 FIFA World Cup, as well as the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

Summary for Lay Audience

This thesis explores the use of soccer and the FIFA World Cup as an extension of Italian foreign policy between 1934 and 1938 through the perspective of the Anglo-American Press.