The member of the NOR Research Group Ekain Rojo read his Doctoral Thesis entitled Futbola nortasunen eta joko hedabideak zelai Nazio bikoa garaikidea: XIX. mendetik XXI. menderako aingura (Football and media, ground for national identities: from the 19th to the 21st century) on the last 24th of May, within the Department of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising of the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU. According to the regulation of the International Doctor distinction, the defense was conducted in Basque and French, before a tribunal formed by Christian Bromberger (Université de Provence Aix Marseile), Catherine Tourre-Malen (Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne), Paulo Iztueta (UPV / EHU) Xabier Aierdi (UPV / EHU) and Eneko Bidegain (MU). The work was tutored by Josu Amezaga and was unanimously rated Apto Cum Laude.
Research in this thesis demonstrates the crucial importance of the relationship between football and media for the representation of contemporary national identities, as well as howthe importance of this sport lies in its ability to represent collective identities. Such quality would be impossible without the participation of the media and their capability to store symbols in a social process where the sport itself becomes a symbol. Football links together globalization and nationalistic claims, due to its unifying and sometimes contradictory character.By using comparative methodology, the thesiseventuallyapproaches scientifically the clashbetween the construction of national identities by stateless nations like the Basque Country and those by states.