The idea of sending a soccer team into a major war zone might be regarded as the height of lunacy, but in mid-1967 the Australian government approved an invitation to the Australian Soccer Federation to take part in the National Day football tournament in Saigon in the midst of the Vietnam War. While this story is fairly widely known among the football community, it has little resonance beyond it and the young players who took part have received no formal recognition. Six of the team that won the competition, the first international trophy won by Australia, were part of the Socceroos squad that qualified for the World Cup in West Germany in 1974. Australian teams returned to Vietnam in 1970 and 1972 as part of the preparation for the successful qualification campaign and the team spirit forged in very difficult circumstances helped carry Rale Rasic's squad to the World Cup. This book retells the story and explains its absence from the national narrative about sport and relations with Asia.
Field of Research
210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
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