The Slavic Connexion

The Politics of Soviet Football in the 1950s and 60s

November 28th, 2022  •  24 mins 27 secs  •  Download (28.1 MB)  •  Link with Timestamp

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On this episode, Sergio talks with Yacov Zohn, football historian and former semi-professional footballer in Russia, France, and the US. Yacov's research into the development of Soviet football sheds light on the immense political pressure placed on the primary USSR team, the Sbornaya, to win each and every game--but ultimately the unrealistic aim to earn gold at the Olympics in 1952 and 1956 is never realized, and football remains one of only two gold medal categories that eluded the USSR.