The Qatar World Cup is a vast soft-power operation for the militarily weak, gas-rich emirate. But reforms prompted by international attention – from sustainability to women’s rights and labour conditions – are likely to fade along with the stadia lights.
is a German sports journalist. His book ‘Machtspieler’ focuses on geopolitics and protest culture in sport.
The domination of football
Autocrats and nationalists behind Euro 2020
World sporting events intrinsically emphasize national allegiance. When real-life rivalries mix with on-pitch competition, football, the ‘beautiful game’, can quickly turn ugly. With various leaders investing heavily to rank up populist points for political gain, who might be the ultimate winners behind any fanaticism once the postponed championships kick off?