Despite the trouble it may cause FC Barcelona, Catalunya’s top soccer team, there is no doubt that the club is in full support of the nationalist movement. Most of Barcelona’s local players have spoken in favor of the movement, while club legend and ex player/manager Pep Guardiola participated in a Catalan nationalist rally in 2012. For FC Barcelona, being Catalan is an identity. The slogan the club employs is “mes que un club”, or more Read the rest of this entry »

Much like the Olympic games every four years, competitive soccer matches such as those played for the FIFA World Cup can be contests for the political arena just as much as the for the sports arena. In the past, political rivalries have been expressed through soccer between various nations such as France and Germany, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and North Korea versus South Korea, among others. This sort of political rivalry may play out in much Read the rest of this entry »

Chechen President Ramzdan Kadyrov is hoping against hope that he just might have begun changing World Cup organizer’s minds about staging at least one match in his Capital City of Grozny.

Kadyrov seems to be fighting an uphill battle, since Grozny has yet to appear on the list of 13 Russian cities that have put forward bids for 2018, including Moscow, Sochi and St. Petersburg.

The city is in an area scarred by two horrible separatist wars, and despite this, Kadyrov Read the rest of this entry »

The smallest host in World Cup Fifa’s history has been chosen to handle the 2022 World Cup. The population of Qatar is less than two million people. The question is, “Will this have a major impact on the global economy, including this tiny country?” Since it has had an impact in the past this is the reason why many countries are very interested in being the host for the event.

It seems there are some links between economic wealth and success in football. Read the rest of this entry »

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In many countries soccer isn’t just a sport it’s a way of life that permeates culture and daily life so much that it has even had an impact on politics and vice versa. If you get your soccer channels through satellite tv service and the like then you probably know what I’m talking about. Throughout history some truly epic political statements have been made, spurred on by the sport and, in some cases, even decided upon based on the outcome of a game. Below are a few of the more pivotal moments in history where soccer, or football as they know it, was involved.

Algeria’s Bid for Freedom in 1958
Halfway through the Algerian’s War of Independence, the French national team tried to enlist the aid of some of the top strikers from the Algerian teams. Needless to say the offer was promptly snubbed as the Algerian players chose their national identity over the chance to play for the French.

Zaire players fight for their life in 1974
Some countries see losing in soccer as a form of national humiliation and that’s how President Mobutu viewed the impending loss against Brazil. This prompted Ilunga Mwepu, Zaire’s right-back, to move out of turn under threat of political exile.

East meets West in 1974
One of the most politically charged matches happened back when there was actually such a thing as East and West Germany. The game wasn’t just about soccer, it was about opposing Cold War ideologies.

Many people are probably wondering how can there be female soccer players from Saudi Arabia when women’s sports are not recognized in Saudi Arabia. The truth is although the country/government does not recognize the team sport does not mean that the women do not know how to play. Most have been playing since they were young, and were actually quite good at it. At first they would treat it as a hobby. Whenever there Read the rest of this entry »

Whenever two nations with an historic, long-standing enmity engage in any professional sport, opportunities and risks are present in terms of furthering or hampering their relationships. Successfully managed, promoted and administered, professional sporting contests can be great opportunities for historic enemies to compete with one another and enjoy recreational events together, opening doors to increased and better dialogue, and possibly putting to rest the issues which have colored their relationships in the past.

Turkey and Armenia are two countries which have Read the rest of this entry »

For individuals playing professional sports in many nations, soccer can closely resemble a modern day global slave trade. Lacking individual civil and even human rights, the buying, selling and trading of players valued for their labor destroys families, and bears a very strong resemblance to the slave trades which have plagued our planet for thousands of years. In fact, it may be argued that the only difference is that the human cargo being moved about today, Read the rest of this entry »

If you think that politics have no influence on FIFA-s selection process for World Cup locations, think again. Just remember back to the most recent World Cup in South Africa, where critics and commentators questioned the suitability and safety of the venue right up to the starting kick-off. FIFA tends to choose locations for the World Cup that are politically stable and considered safe for tourists. This makes the dream of hosting the World Cup Read the rest of this entry »