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Titus Kioko

Doctoral Student, Department of Literary Studies

Maseno University

P.O. Box 333-40501, Maseno, Kenya

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Cell phone: +254-713-444-300


Jack Ogembo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Linguistics, Language and Literature

University of Kabianga

P.O. Box 230-20200, Kericho, Kenya

Cell phone: +254-722-774-177


CITATION: Kioko, T., & Ogembo, J. (2018). Sporting Spirituality: Religious Nuances in Football Commentary. International Journal of Arts and Entrepreneurship. Vol. 7 (4) pp 19 – 39



Religious expression and sports are two culturally universal interests which are thought to vary drastically both in principle and in practice. Intriguingly, religion, spirituality and the supernatural are some of the most recurrent issues in sports broadcast. This paper investigated preoccupations with religious expression in the 2014 FIFA World Cup as discernible in the utterances of match commentators. I argue that there was widespread reference to the supermodal in the commentaries analyzed. Equally frequent was an awe-inspiring display of religious dynamism. I further contend that the overwhelming religious expression found manifestation through parody, religious exhibitionism and spiritual narcissism. In addition, the religious propensities displayed mirror postmodern viewpoints as they project diverse approaches and eclectically integrated beliefs and rituals. I conclude that triumph or failure in the World Cup could not be attributed to religious expression.


Key words: religious expression, supernatural, spirituality, parody, postmodern, FIFA World Cup, narcissism.



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