humphreys, brendan

Soldiers or Jailers? Rugby in Ceausescu’s Romania

During the worst period of its post-war history, the repressive and impoverished 1980s, Romania was excelling in a sport – Rugby union – that was both foreign and traditionally elitist.

The sport, named after an exclusive British school, was one of the last major sports to embrace professionalism; doing so only in 1995.

Yet years earlier, across the Iron Curtain, Romania had established a de-facto professional structure; its two leading teams were based on the police and the military, including the dreaded Securitate.

Tragically, this legacy would haunt the sport; leading to the dramatic death of several leading players, including the captain of the national team, in the Revolution of 1989.

Thursday 25 October 15:15-16:45 Panels V, Panel 12 Competition and Co-operation in Sports (Hall 7)