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Stevo Popovic1, Dusko Bjelica1

1University of Montenegro, Faculty for Sport and Physical Education, Nikšić, Montenegro

Do Significant Achievements of National Football Team Can Strengthen National Identity in Montenegro?


Although most of Montenegro’s population adore football and support national football team, strong ethnic bigotry still exists. It is interesting to compare the results of 1981 and 2011 census. There were 44.98% of ethic Montenegrins in 2011, 28.73% of Serbs, and 8.65% of Bosnians; while the population living in same area in 1981 numbered 68.54% of ethnic Montenegrins and 3.32% Serbs, while ‘Bosnians’ did not exist as a category at that time; they were referred to according to their religion, i.e. “Muslims”. Obviously, these differences were not caused by some great migrations, as it might seem at first sight, but it is the result of the ideological sentiments of a number of citizens of Montenegro, who changed beliefs during the difficult and turbulent time of the 1990s. The variations of their ethnicities are the outcome of the ideological concepts and their religious affiliations, mostly due to the reason that most of them experienced the collapse of the Yugoslav national identity and still looking for their self. Hence, a main goal of this study is to recommend that significant achievements of national football team can strengthen national identity and enhance peaceful coexistence between various ethnic groups in multi-cultural society such as Montenegro.


Soccer, Ethnicity, Nationality, Nationalism


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