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It's called laundry sport and it tells us to keep our eyes open

It’s called laundry sport and it tells us to keep our eyes open

We are just a few days away from the end of this World Cup, one of the dirtiest World Cups ever, at least since the bloody edition of 1978 in Argentina, when the matches were played at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires, a few hundred meters away and in many Among other sports facilities, opponents of the regime of General Jorge Videla were tortured and assassinated. The mathematical outcome will remain unknown for a few days, but the reasons for the practice now appearing in all its outright infractions can never again be known. It’s called “sportwashing,” a new term that defines those acts that tend to exploit sport to clean up a country’s image in the eyes of the world. The term was coined by Rebecca Vincent, an American human rights activist, and current director of international campaigns and UK bureau chief for Reporters Without Borders. To understand this intuition, we need to rewind the tape not to a few days, but a good seven years ago, when Rebecca Vincent, after a long experience in the field in Baku, Azerbaijan, publicly decried how effective the 2015 European Games, Formula 1 and even volleyball were from In order to build, thanks to sport, a beautiful facade for a country full of contrasts. Today, this condemnation seems like an unprecedented omen and an unprecedented introduction to much-needed and timely analysis on sport and football, not only in Qatar, but also in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. To understand how disturbingly football’s geopolitics are changing, you don’t need to be an expert, neither in geopolitics nor in football. Just watch and maybe think a little. This World Cup will be over in four days, and investigations into the “moneybags” (unfortunately not a metaphor) which seem to have served to guide certain choices will take their course, thousands of migrant workers killed for failure to respect their rights, because the theaters that are built so quickly are as beautiful as they are It is annoying that this show will disappear from our memory and in Qatar, most likely, the subject of civil rights, once the circus moves its tent, will return to being a giant black hole. On Sunday, the team will celebrate winning a trophy that will be as heavy to carry as few other times in football history. It remains for us to decide how, how much and what we are willing to put up with. Because if there is one thing that will never be the same again, after the events in which Fifa was initially involved and now even the European Parliament, it would be to continue to pretend not to know or not to see. Not that there were any doubts before, but this World Cup has emphatically acknowledged the fact that football is politics. It can be in the nicest sense of the term and it can be in the lowest and dirty sense which, unfortunately, is increasingly associated with this term. And reading, as it happened a few days ago, that Qatar will put forward the hypothesis of running for the 2036 Olympic Games, and promised air conditioning along more than 42 kilometers of the marathon route, which makes one feel cold. © Copyrighted Reproduction

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