In modern Hungary, the period from the second part of the 19th century and the period of faster capitalist development, a relationship of interests based on mutual advantages emerged between politics and leading sportsmen, together with the interest (lobby) groups operating and supplying them. This relationship proved to be so successful that it has exercised an unbroken influence on Hungarian society for more than a century (to this day). The effectiveness of this relationship and of the lobby groups operating it is supported best by the fact that its influence could be made permanent while fundamental changes took place in Hungarian history. Political zigzags, dictatorships and democracies, booms and crises followed one another. It should be remembered for instance, that the territory of the country was reduced to one third by the Trianon decision, its form of state (kingdom, republic etc.) and the form of its social and economic reproduction (feudal, capitalism, socialism, new capitalism) were constantly changing in the 20th century, accompanied by the total replacement of its political elites. The country was either part of a 'medieval' empire, of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, or functioned as an autonomous country, next it belonged to the zone of the Soviet sphere of military and economic influence, and most recently it acceded to the European Union. These conditions modified its international position and competitiveness in modernisation, too. In brief: while in Hungary practically everything underwent fundamental changes in politics during the past century, and mostly political courses of opposite economic, political and ideological content replaced each other, nothing changed in the relationship between politics and leading sports. In the paper an attempt is made to study this issue sociologically, why politics could evolve this extremely intimate relationship with leading sports, what circumstances created it and what needs contributed to its becoming politically indispensable.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.