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Monday, June 16, 2014

The World Cup and a world of changes

My new piece for OpEdge

The 20th World Cup is upon us. The football World Cup is not only a great festival of sport – it also provides us with a snapshot of the world at the time the tournament takes place, and tells us much about the global political situation.

We can't – even if we’d like to – take politics out of sport, as sport does not exist in a vacuum.

Forty years ago for instance, in 1974, 16 countries participated in the World Cup held in a country (West Germany) which today doesn't officially exist. Two other competing countries – Yugoslavia and East Germany – don't exist either. And the only African country taking part, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was Zaire not too long ago.

You can read the whole of the article here.

1 comment:

Robin Carmody said...

Not a bad piece, but I do wish people of your political ilk would stop trying to claim the Beatles - the Old Left hated them quite viciously at the time, and (contrary to a popular-on-all-sides myth) hated them just as fervently in 1963 as in 1968. So definitely a historical retcon on your part.

Otherwise, quite accurate - though wouldn't a British withdrawal from the EU be the ultimate admission of defeat, in the context of competing outside the Anglosphere i.e. within the football world, and therefore dovetail perfectly with Germany's win?