Imperialism is the ‘imposition of the power of one state over the territories of another, normally by military means, in order to exploit subjugated populations and extract economic and political advantages’ (Abercrombie et al., 2000: 173). With regard to the analysis of sport as a social and historical phenomenon, the most important empire was the British, fashioned, like other European empires, largely in the nineteenth century (see e.g. Kiernan, 1982). By the beginning of the First World War, these empires controlled over four-fifths of the world's land mass. In the British instance, as with other European empires, imperialism ordinarily took the form of colonialism: that is, territories were governed directly by an administrative class imported from the imperial power, which imposed its own ...