Yacov Zohn is a semi-professional footballer and a PhD candidate in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation traces the history of the national Soviet soccer team from its official recognition by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in 1946 to its tortuous disintegration in the early 1990s. His aim is to elucidate how the narrative of Soviet sports history intersects with the kaleidoscope of competing narratives from nation-states and global sport governing institutions to form a complex mosaic of transnational sports history.
November 28th, 2022 | Season 5 | 24 mins 27 secs
football, germany, history, olympics, politics, soviet union, sports
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.