sports diplomacy

Pakistan is preparing to show the cricketing world it is safe to play international matches in the country by staging a three-game Twenty20 international series against a World XI in Lahore [this] week. Only Zimbabwe has toured Pakistan — for a short, limited-overs series two years ago — since terrorists attacked a Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009. The World XI tour is a major breakthrough for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which had been working to attract international cricket to the country.

A video of an Indian woman wrestler fighting in the WWE is going viral on social media - and Indians are loving it. The video shows Kavita Devi, clad in a saffron-colored Salwar Kameez - a traditional north Indian attire for women - fighting New Zealand's Dakota Kai, at the Mae Young Classic tournament. Hailing from the Indian state of Haryana, she is the first female Indian wrestler to compete in a WWE ring.

Just as many fans have been grudgingly coming to terms with football’s new reality, Qatar Sports Investments shelled out the £198m to transfer Neymar from Barcelona. This hardly came as a surprise. Neymar is a phenomenal talent. But it is important to understand what lies behind this: governments from across Asia have been targeting football for some time as a means of building their global soft power and boosting their images.

The Vermont ski industry is worried about the Trump Administration's review of the J-1 Visa exchange program which allows resorts to hire some foreign workers. "This program is an ambassadorship program. You get incredible students who come on up and are enthusiastic and hard working. They go back to their home country and share the incredible experiences they've had here in Vermont," says Ski Vermont President Parker Riehle.

Japanese athletes in the Taipei Universiade have been earning high praises in Taiwan since a series of photos of them cleaning a park was posted on social media Tuesday morning. [...] "This is true people-to-people diplomacy," someone else wrote. "Their likability is completely off the charts."

The Moroccan Football Federation has announced it will bid to host the 2026 World Cup. [...] The World Cup has only been hosted once in Africa - in South Africa in 2010 - and this will be Morocco's fifth bid.

Williams is a skateboarding envoy with the U.S. State Department and is spreading his love for the sport, recently completing a cultural diplomacy mission in Cambodia, where he highlighted skateboarding's benefits to young people.“It’s a bridge between people all over the world,” Williams said. “For me, I’ve always been focused on what it was that made skateboarding special.”

Tens of thousands of Iraqis, Syrians and Afghans passed through here, heading for the Hungarian or Croatian border, hoping to get to Germany or Austria. [...] The vast majority left were young men and boys from Afghanistan and Pakistan. And the game of choice to pass the time in the refugee camps was cricket.

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