Since the 1960s, Croatian soccer clubs have been a notable feature of all major Australian cities, and a number of regional towns, with the highest-profile of these being Melbourne Croatia and Sydney Croatia, both of which played in Australia’s now defunct National Soccer League (NSL) (1977-2004). By being barred from the new A-League, from 2005-06, these clubs experienced marginalization and discrimination similar to that experienced by Irish-Catholic clubs in Scotland. The aims of this study are to explore both Croatian-Australian identity and discrimination through the lens of Melbourne and Sydney Croatia. The myths about the clubs’ alleged fascist tendencies are also explored. The fascist allegations have obscured the very real discrimination faced by these clubs and their supporters, given that the end of the NSL ‘removed’ both clubs from the national-league when ordinary relegation was not deserved. The article draws upon interviews with two Melbourne Croatia administrators and three leaders of the club’s ‘MCF’ ultras.
|Journal||Pilar: a Journal for Social and Humanistic Studies|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 9 Aug 2022|
- Australian soccer
- Melbourne Knights