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ISSN 1461-7218

Antisemitism as a football specific problem? The situation of Jewish clubs in German amateur sport


n. 3




v. 58


p. 550-569



Despite the undisputed existence of antisemitic incidents in sport, little is known about their exact prevalence and forms of manifestation. Also in Germany, physical and verbal attacks against Jewish sports clubs have repeatedly come to light. To estimate the prevalence of antisemitic incidents in German grassroot sports, a standardised online survey was conducted among members of Jewish sports clubs in Germany (N = 309, data collection 3 November 2020 to 24 January 2021). Results show an accumulation of cases in football: more than two-thirds (68%) of the football players have experienced an antisemitic incident at least once, while the share in other sports is only 14%. The results indicate that football offers a particularly large number of constellations that lead to the expression of antisemitic patterns. At its core, football is shaped by a clash of group identities. It is widely accepted that opponents and their supporters are devalued through aggressive and emotionalized behaviour. A tendency towards underreporting can furthermore be observed in dealing with the incidents, among other reasons due to a significant proportion of those surveyed do not trust the sanction mechanisms of the sports associations – this in turn applies to footballers and non-footballers.

Keywords: antisemitism, Jewish sport, discrimination, violence, reporting, football


MüLLER, Lasse; HAUT, Jan; HEIM, Christopher. Antisemitism as a football specific problem? The situation of Jewish clubs in German amateur sport. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. v. 58, n. 3, p. 550-569, 2023.

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