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Sports, a Matter of Peace?

Took place from 14 to 16 October in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Stefan Kesenne, Prof. Dr. Marc Theeboom and Prof. Dr. Bart Vanreusel. Public lectures were given by Roland Renson,  Sven Guldenpfennig, Cora Burnett and Wolfgang Maennig, on 16th October followed by a panel debate with scholars, journalists and a representative of the Royal Belgian Football Confederation. 
Sport as ‘fair-play’ between amateurs is a 19th century Anglo-Saxon invention. The principle of equal opportunities was less inspired by concerns for democracy than by the concern to make a more exciting game: equal opportunities at the start entail a less predictable outcome. Professional sportsmen arose among the working classes in their search for new ways of making a living. It was only in 1988 that the Olympic Games abandoned the principle of amateurism and sports became the global industry and show business it is today. 
Society expects much from sport, but its political contribution to international peace building is more symbolic than permanent. How do major sporting events such as the world championship football in South Africa (2010) contribute to developing countries? How does the local community experience the economic progress promised by FIFA? A panel debate discussed the Belgo-Dutch bid for the world football championship 2018.

Contributors: Jens Sejer Andersen (Play the Game), Hans Bruyninckx (HIVA, K.U.Leuven), Cora Burnett (University of Johannesburg), Fred Coalter (University of Stirling), Alain Courtois (KBVB), Richard Giulianotti (Durham University), Sven Guldenpfennig (Technische Universität Berlin), Frank Hendrickx (K.U.Leuven), Stefan Kesenne (University of Antwerp), Wolfgang Maennig (University of Hamburg), Johnny Maeschalk (Free University of Brussels), Marc Mercy (sports journalist ), Roland Renson (Emeritus K.U. Leuven), Jim Parry (University of Leeds), Bettina Rulofs (Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln), Jo Swinnen (K.U.Leuven), Marc Theeboom (Free University of Brussels), Yves Vanden Auweele (K.U.Leuven), Hans Vandeweghe (sports journalist), Bart Vanreusel (K.U.Leuven)

Below you can already have a look at the pictures:

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