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Soccer and politics after the 2022 World Cup: Does the ball get stained or not?

Much has been written about the controversial decision to host the last World Cup 2022 to Qatarr. Shortly before the tournament, Sepp Blatter, involved in a fraud investigation, said the choice was a “mistake” and a “bad decision.” He never mentions the serious complaints of violation of human and labor rights in the construction of the stadiums. It is key to remember that 16 of the 22 involved in this decision – to cede the locality to Qatar – are still being investigated for fraud and corruption. Some have been sanctioned by the FIFA Ethics Committee and others have been expelled from the International Olympic Committee.

Although the World Cup breaks records in each edition, there is a dissident current that does not miss the opportunity to make global social and political problems visible. Politics in soccer can be collective. On the one hand, the “One Love” bracelet worn by the German team caused a stir when it was considered that football should not be a political arena.

However, the boycott of Qatar 2022 started earlier. Germany had 64% fewer viewers in its World Cup debut compared to Russia 2018. Beyond their unfortunate performance in the group stage, several individuals showed their resounding rejection of the World Cup headquarters and what the government of that country represents. Similar samples had the selection of Australia, and even many others initially thought of joining said demonstration, finally being dissuaded by FIFA sanctions.

There is also individual politics. For example, kylian mbappe hid the well-known brand of beer that sponsored the World Cup on two occasions. The player has a personal policy of not advertising fast food, sugary and alcoholic beverages. And all this despite the fines to which he is subject in each game.

Throughout football history, soccer’s greatest idols have not been shy about expressing their diametrically opposed political sympathies. By your side, Pele It was not without controversy. During the Brazilian dictatorship of 1964-1985, while politicians and artists ended up settling abroad, he appeared alongside Emílio Garrastazu Médici, authoritarian leader of the hardest faction of that regime. The slogan in Brazil in those years was: “Brazil: love it or leave it” in reference to the large number of political exiles.

Decades later O’Rei declared “I am ashamed of Brazil; all you hear about is bribery, theft, and corrupt politicians.” However, the three-time world champion maintains a relationship with Ricardo Teixeira, former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), who was banned for life by FIFA from holding any position for accepting millions of dollars in bribes.

On the other hand, the ‘Fluff’ Diego Armando Maradona He had a very close relationship with leftist leaders like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez. She had a tattoo on her left leg with the face of Fidel, and a tattoo on her arm of Che Guevara. On the death of Chávez, she said on her social networks “Long live Chávez !!!! Long live Maduro!! Long live the revolution!!!” (dixit). In Argentine politics, he declared himself a Peronist and a great admirer of Néstor Kirchner. Argentina lost a gladiator, he wrote the day he died.

Thinking that soccer will be exempt from politics is virtually impossible. The most popular sport in the world is also a space where different idols seek to express their electoral preferences, their vision of the world and the personal values ​​they possess.

Source: Elcomercio

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