FOR its fans, football was summed up perfectly by Liverpool’s famous Scottish manager Bill Shankly, who said it was much more important than life or death.

Unconvinced, its detractors see it as no thing more than 22 people kicking a wee, round ball up and down a field.

Despite their disdain, there is no denying the impact the game has had on culture and communities and a new festival is setting out to demonstrate its influence with a free month-long celebration at venues across Glasgow.

During April it will be possible to see football on the big screen everywhere from the Centre for Contemporary Arts to Grier’s Bar in Easterhouse.

In addition, libraries and arts centres across the city will be hosting the UK premiere of a series of artists’ videos capturing the diversity of the beautiful game, from the Afghan women’s football team to fan pubs in Berlin.

Goal! Tor! But! is being presented by the Alliance Française and Goethe Institut in Glasgow in tandem with the Scottish Football Museum, right. The name of the festival comes from the words used to celebrate a goal in each of the languages of the countries involved (tor is German and but is French).


The festival kicks off with a series of video installations popping up at over ten libraries and arts centres across the city, from Parkhead to Pollokshaws.

As well as the Afghan women’s football team and the fan pubs in Berlin there are installations about a filmmaker attempting to become a goalkeeper in the Spanish Regional League with hilarious results, and children playing in the dust in the heart of the Chilean countryside.

The installations also feature a Belgian railway track where two groups of immigrants play a match.

These short films show how artists have been inspired to portray football in a series of unique ways. Originally commissioned by the Goethe Institut in South America for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, this is the first time that the installations have been seen in the UK.


Glasgow cinemas will also be showcasing football on the big screen, with free screenings of classic and new movies. Scottish artist Douglas Gordon’s hypnotic biopic of Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait is at The Glad Cafe on April 20, while everyone’s favourite story of lovelorn teen footballers Gregory’s Girl screens at Grier’s Bar in Easterhouse on April 25.

From Europe, highlights include A Life for Football (Landauer – der Präsident) at the Goethe Institut on April 21 and the CCA on April 26, which is a fascinating portrait of Bayern Munich’s Jewish president Kurt Landauer in 1930s Germany.

There will also be a look at maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen’s attempt to help American Samoa – who once lost 31-0 to Australia – qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Next Goal Wins (Grier’s Bar, April 18).

Looking for Eric by director Ken Loach is on at Grier’s

Bar on April 11 and describes how a dope-smoking football fan is visited by an apparition of French footballer Eric Cantona who gives him a pep talk on how to win back his wife.


Goal! Tor! But! will culminate in an informal two-day free symposium on April 27 and 28 at The Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park.

The full programme for the free football festival can be found at