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England's identity: fans sing football's coming home, but what is home?

By Johan Rewilak, Lecturer in Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship, Aston University
Daniel Fitzpatrick, Lecturer in Politics, Aston University
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Sport matters to national identity. The pageantry of flags, emblems and anthems (both official and unofficial) load sport with symbolism and imagery of the nation. One of the key reasons governments spend billions of dollars to host sporting mega events is to build or reinforce a sense of national identity.

However, national identity is fluid, not fixed. Sport offers an arena in which national identity can adapt and change.

In England, where many civic institutions represent Britain as a whole, the men’s national football team is particularly important to English identity.…


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