Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Politics of the World Cup



I know that, with the World Cup 2010 South Africa, just around the corner, soccer (or football, as it known pretty much every where else) fans the world over are rejoicing. It’s the beautiful game, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Yet, international soccer has been the cause of tremendous frictions between countries in the past and has even led to a bona-fide war, in at least once case ( El Salvador vs. Honduras-1969). So you can forget all that crap about the power of sport to bring different peoples together and elevating humanity, because the World Cup definitely has political implications for the countries that participate, and not all of them are good.

First, there’s the host nation. The “Rainbow nation” hasn’t exactly found the pot of gold yet, if you get my meaning. In fact the country is currently experiencing a fair amount of turmoil due to political events that have nothing to do with the World Cup. 2 in particular seem not to bode well for the chances of smooth sailing at this international sporting event: The death of white supremacist Eugene Terre’blanche, under mysterious circumstances, which reminded everyone of the monsters of the past that still lurk under the bed in that country. More recently, the leader of the ANC( South Africa’s ruling party) youth wing shocking his country and the world with declarations of support for Robert Mugabe and the singing of the racist song “kill the Boer”, which is, apparently, a party standard.

More problematic, is the prospect of the two Koreas meeting at some stage of the tournament. Given the escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula over the sinking of a South Korean warship by a North Korean submarine( how this backward country, can figure out how to operate such sophisticated technology, is beyond me). These two countries are currently on the brink of war and it wouldn’t take much to push them over it. If the Dear Leader’s( Kim Jung il’s official title) beloved Choilima ( the team’s nickname) lose badly to the other side expect one of two outcomes: A) a patriotic war declared against the south to create a rally-around-the-flag effect or, B) massive unrest in the DPRK possibly leading to the toppling of the tyrannical dynasty that’s has ruled that country with an iron fist for too long. Either way, enjoy the game!

The Future is Unwritten

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