The World Cup is a political game


Quézia Arruda Cunha, Reporter

The World Cup is not just a soccer game; it is a political game.

On the TV it is apparent that a political map is clearly displayed. This is especially noticeable when we analyze the country itself in which the event is taking place – Qatar.

You don’t need to be an expert in world geopolitics to know that Qatar is a Middle Eastern country that still praises certain outdated practices not widely accepted in the contemporary world.

Women do not have their rights guaranteed by the constitution and this is clear from the absence of Qatari female fans on stage. Watching the Cup, we also notice the country’s great disregard for humanitarian preservation directed at other minority communities, such as the LGBTQIA+ community, for example.

Not only is the host country exposed through the Cup, but other countries involved in the games face exposure too. I see each player as a representative and caricature of the social and political structure of their country. A team’s posture is a direct reflection of its geopolitical roots.

The way the player carries themselves during the anthem is a great representation of that. The colors of the flag and the nationalist power that this transmits in times of war and conflict (as in the case of Saudi Arabia and Iran) are fundamental ingredients for the historical storytelling transmitted by soccer.

The World Cup can also be seen as a strategist instrumentalization mechanism, and Brazil is a pragmatic example of that.

In the current troubled political scenario in Brazil – especially after the presidential elections with a great dichotomy between left and right – the World Cup became the perfect moment to erase the negative image of such a violent and intolerant country.

By winning the game, Brazil is seen as a remarkable soccer country and not as a non-democratic one. This trend does not only apply to the Brazilian scene but also to the majority of underdeveloped countries that are currently passing through conflicting political stances of similar nature.

To understand how politics work, you do not need to be stuck in common means of information. Just by watching the World Cup, a compilation of soccer games, you learn about international relations and the direct social impact of politics inside the field.

If you think your global history class is boring, just turn on your TV and enjoy the historical moment on your screen.