ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Football, Freedom, and the Arab Spring

Sports and sporting event have always been political, and this is more so in the case of football. The men’s football world cup held in Qatar became an arena where multiple global sociopolitical contradictions were played out and geopolitical issues were brought into focus. After all, football has always been about philosophy, freedom, beauty, art, and democracy.

The final match of the FIFA Men’s World Cup 2022 between Argentina and France was perhaps one of the most thrilling and watchable of football matches in the history of the tournament. It also capped a tournament which, by most accounts, seems to have been a sporting success and something of a diplomatic coup for host Qatar. This becomes especially significant as the event was marred from the very beginning with allegations of corruption and human rights abuses.

This was not the first time that a sports event fell under the shadow of political concerns. Back in 1978, in a far more extreme sense, the decision to hold the FIFA World Cup in Argentina came under a cloud because of the repressive right-wing regime ruling the country at the time. Concerns were also raised about the 2018 edition of the tournament in Russia, which happened four years after the Russian invasion of Crimea and four years prior to the one of Ukraine.

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Updated On : 23rd Jan, 2023
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