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David Ellwood of Johns Hopkins SAIS Bologna analyzes Qatar's public diplomacy strategies and soft power following the end of the 2022 World Cup.
How the 2022 U.S.-Iran soccer match compares to the 1998 competition, when hope existed for renewed diplomatic ties.
Peru starts a global conversation with a video message to its upcoming contenders at 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
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.
Doha-based beIN Sports, a successor to the Al Jazeera Sports network, has been a mainstay in the homes of many football-loving Arabs. [...] However, the political dispute between Qatar and Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in June opened the door for other Arab networks to challenge beIN’s stranglehold on sports broadcasts.
Blind football represents hope and belonging for Egypt's one million visually impaired. [...] Globally, blind football's star is rising rapidly. Since the 1980s, when the first five-a-side national championships took place in Brazil and Spain, the sport has spread to dozens of countries. In 1997, Europe and North America held the first continental championships, followed by the first blind football world championship a year later. In 2004, it became a summer Paralympic sport.
Harnessing young people's enthusiasm for football and sports in general is a useful and interesting way to offer opportunities for personal and professional growth, said Rubem Cesar Fernandes, executive director of Viva Rio, a Brazilian NGO focusing on development through innovative projects. [...] Viva Rio has established the Black Pearls Academy, a high-performance football training centre for young athletes from refugee and underprivileged communities in Brazil and Haiti.