© 2018

Forbidden Football in Ceausescu’s Romania


  • Demonstrates how the consumption of ‘forbidden football’ in 1980's Romania illustrated the power of football and its potential for social mobilisation

  • Provides an alternative social history of communist everyday life in 1980's Romania

  • Presents the mass consumption of forbidden televised football as a form of silent resistance within Romania under a totalitarian regime


Part of the Global Culture and Sport Series book series (GCS)

Table of contents

About this book


This book presents an ethnographic description and sociological interpretation of the ‘football gatherings’ that evolved out of central Romania in the late twentieth century. In the 1980's, Romanian public television did not broadcast football mega-events for economic and political reasons. In response, masses of people would leave their homes and travel into the mountains to pick-up the TV broadcast from neighbouring countries. The phenomenon grew into a social institution with a penetrating force: it produced an alternative social space and a dissident public that pointed to a form of resistance taking place through football.

Forbidden Football in Ceausescu’s Romania provides an insight into the everyday life under the pressure of dictatorship and, through the special patterns of sports consumption, it tells a social history through small individual stories related to football.


Football gatherings Totalitarianism Former Soviet Union USSR Supporters Grassroots support National-Communist regime Argentina World Cup Hungary State controlled media Transylvania

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Babes-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania

About the authors

László Péter is Associate Professor at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj. His areas of research include the sociology of sport and social problems.

Bibliographic information