Football and Culture in the Antipodes: The Rise and Consolidation of Greek Culture and Society


  • Steve Georgakis The University of Sydney
  • Richard Light Leeds Metropolitan University


In 2006, Australian sports historian Roy Hay published an article which looked at the reasons why Association Football (football) never became the main code of football in Australia. Hay and others over the last two decades noted a number of
definitive reasons why it did not become the national football code. While the above theme dominated sports history scholarship, no scholar has questioned the reasons why football was the main sport for non-British ethnic groups who migrated to Australia. Hay (2006) noted:

In Australia the great waves of immigration in the 1880s, the decade before the First World War, the 1920s and the period after the Second World War saw the growth in the popularity of football as a participant sport among migrants… These
migrants, arriving in a strange society which welcomed their labour but expected them to become assimilated Australians and to eschew links with their homelands, found very few institutions catering for them. Football clubs became one of the
places where migrant groups could gather for more than just the sport. Aside from providing them with recreation and entertainment in a sport with which many were familiar, unlike Australian rules or cricket, the football clubs assisted migrants
in a variety of ways (p.173).