“Football unites us” – this is the official slogan of FIFA, which, if we look at the popularity of football in Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran or Afghanistan, is by no means an empty slogan.
Football, culture and politics
I am happy and satisfied with the outcome of the Spain-Morocco match, which allowed an Arab country to participate in the final of the football World Cup at such a high level for the first time in history. Why? What does it mean? First of all, the greater integration of the Arab world with Western culture, elements of which are sport and the idea of the Olympics, but also democracy and individual freedom. When I hear voices criticizing the holding of major sporting events (Olympics, high-scoring tennis tournaments, world championships in athletics or football) in countries like Qatar, because its interests are only limited to strengthening and building the prestige of the satrap ruler, I object to say: “Not only”. Because even if the stands are empty or filled with “artificial crowds” and not all citizens are granted the right to enter them, everyone should pay attention that something is happening in this country. What is going on? There are events that originate in Western culture, carrying – perhaps indirectly and indistinctly – other values of this culture. And events like this can certainly serve as a model and inspiration for other countries in the region.
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