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The present paper looks at the different positions two major international sport federations, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS), took with respect to East Germany during the 1950s. Because these positions were greatly influenced by FIFA’s and the FIS’s prior relations with Germany and by the challenges posed by global politics, this study begins by examining these relations during the interwar period. By combining information from the FIFA, FIS, and International Olympic Committee (IOC) archives with documents from the German national archives and articles published in Switzerland’s sporting press, the authors were able to highlight differences between the two federations’ approaches and show the need for studies to go beyond an IOC-centric approach.
The authors are with the Institute of Sport Sciences, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.