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Article

Советский футбол по документам ЦК КПСС. Интервью с М. Ю. Прозуменщиковым

Социологическое обозрение. 2018. Т. 17. № 2. С. 173-194.
Прозуменщиков М. Ю., Кильдюшов О. В., Пугачева М. Г.

Football has become much more than a simple game over the past hundred years. Football has become a factor in global policy, affecting not only the minds and souls of hundreds of millions of fans, but also the political, economic, and social aspects of modern life. This interview with M. Prozumshchikov, the leading researcher of Russian sports and one of the editors of the collection of documents revealed from the Russian State Archive of Recent History, was invited to talk about the creation of the Soviet system of party control over big sport (and, above all, over football), about the views of the leaders of the USSR on the possibility of using football for ideological purposes, and about the role of the Soviet state in the support and development of the mass football movement. The issues of the archival system of documents on sports in the USSR were also touched upon. At the very beginning, the history of the rise of a line of publications dedicated to sport mega-events involving Soviet athletes such as the 1980 Summer Olympics, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, and big football matches was discussed. Furthermore, the researcher talked about the difficulties associated with finding relevant documents about Soviet sport in the existing archival landscape of modern Russia. The main part of the conversation was devoted to the structural problems of national sport, beginning with the early USSR and ending with the disintegration of the state sport system under M. Gorbachev. The most important problems of the sports movement in the Soviet Union, such as the internationalization of Soviet sport, in general, and the sport relations with the countries of the Socialist Block, in particular, as well as the balance of power between the Central Committee and the Sports Committee and other significant actors of this field, the trivial nationalism in the bleachers at the Soviet stadiums, and other topics were also discussed. The interview ends with a discussion of the prospects for historical sports research.