The Viral Game: The Global Football Community’s Response to Epidemics and Pandemics in the Twenty-First Century

Photo of 1930s Underwood typewriter next to a candle

By Patrick H. Salkeld, Independent Scholar


The twenty-first century has seen health crises related to SARS, Swine Flu, Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19. Nations cooperated with supranational groups when deciding what to do with football operations in these crises except during the COVID-19 pandemic when the “Ostrich Alliance” viewed it as interference with their sovereignty.

Key words: pandemics, football (soccer), SARS, COVID-19, Ebola, FIFA World Cup, Zika, 2016 Rio Olympics, Swine Flu, 2015 African Cup of Nations.

Edited by Birgit Schneider.

This is a special summer issue of the journal called, Pandemics in Historical Perspective. Every Friday, or nearly every Friday, through mid-June another article will be published. The articles, as they are published, will be open to moderated comments. We invite readers to comment or to ask questions of the authors. Check back each week to see the next article and to see how the conversation has evolved.

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