12/11/2022 - Politics and Society

Globalist geopolitics: emerging silence

By Stefanía Bargardi

Globalist geopolitics: emerging silence

During my university studies I had the pleasure of having a great teacher (of which I will not give the name since it is modest) who held that World wars would no longer get rid of war (hard power) but confrontations would be in the football world. A little referring to the cultural and ideological battles that sought domination through the influence of soft power. And how much reason. Political transfondos that have marked the world (since the last century) demonstrate the impronta of conjunctural reality; the power reflected through sport, but which includes much more than football: economic, social, cultural and political factors; but also ideological and religious. The political use of the world, or rather, dictates the demonstration of power through them goes back to the beginning of them, although to better explain the characteristics of the most controversial cases.FIFA is the international body that nucleates all football, beach football and futsal associations; it was born in 1904 with the aim of organizing world championships in which to compete with selected nationals per country. The sporty and friendly origin of the organization derived in the world's largest and representative power core, FIFA has 211 member selections, representing even the Nations with territorial and political disputes that have no representation within the United Nations and also nucleating the continental and regional football associations as CONMEBOL. Yes, the UN has 193 sovereign members while FIFA 211, and while both count on a General Assembly with equal votes, the United Nations has a Security Council with a veto capacity (not equal) of its permanent members, so go if FIFA is no longer representative... But will it be more democratic and transparent?

Power Concentration

A quality of FIFA is that it is not a public international law body because it is a private association with the NGO style whose purpose is the development of football and the cooperation of all its members for different purposes such as the organization of the World Cup and the regulation of this sport. The paradox is that it nucleates to selected officers who represent countries and who promote values within the Western order of ethics and morals (or at least that is in their statute). So, how to judge within a private legal framework with public and international interests that involve power, money and geopolitics. In addition, it is a non-profit organization that does not assume profits, but rather to develop its purposes, but that in turn made the sport a business and the client fans.The World Cup has become the most viewed television event in the live world, and it generates billions of dollars in direct and indirect revenues to the organization itself, brands, goods and services offered during the competition and capitalization and quotation of players and technical bodies, leaders and competing characters.

The authoritarian acquiescence

Just to mention, some of the most controversial cases in the history of football regarding the world organization, the contradiction with the values of FIFA and the use of the sport to arrive and remain in power...
  • World Fascist: The 1934 cup (second world after 1930 in Uruguay and prior to the Olympic Games of Nazi Germany in 1936) was organized in a pre-war context and with Europe dominated by the fascist regime in Italy and the rise of Hitler in Germany. Italy's candidacy and triumph was marked by public threats and pressures to other candidates as headquarters and to players of the Italian team and their opponents. It was used as a propagandistic means of Mussolini's policy with the spread of authoritarian and totalitarian patriotic, racist and violent discipline. He sought not only the adherence of followers, but the intimidation and imposition of a cosmovision and leadership without alternatives, which used the world as a vitraria to show his power. A global propagandistic machine.
  • World screen: In 1978 already with a context of recognition of basic and universal human rights, decolonization processes, Cold War and Globalization, Argentina was elected as headquarters while developing the bloodiest military dictatorship in the history of the country, with questioning international human rights organizations, persecutions, kidnappings and murders. With a final announced in what won Argentina involving threats by the Armed Forces to the adversary teams, the euphoria and the collective union ended after a cease-fire period in which a fictional “normality” of peaceful coexistence was shown on television, which with the culmination of the world again showed its bloodiest face. A country with fragmented politics that saw in the selection a homogeneous and collective feeling, as a beacon of hope in the sad reality that lived and covered itself. The world worked as a smoke curtain for the international community and the national collective unconscious.
  • Globalized Soccer: With the aim of universalizing the “soccer” and reaching the largest, consumer and hegemonic market of the moment, the United States was elected world headquarters in 1994. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and unbalanced Unipolarism in favor of the Americans, a scene was put into action that would demonstrate the organizational power and influence in a televised world where much of the planet had live tv. The US would make use of its hollywoodense innovation to bring its liberal speech to every corner of the planet.
  • The emerging worlds: Three BRICS member countries (the host of emerging and developing countries that are growing more in recent decades, possessors of strategic resources and with increasing power, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have been elected as headquarters of the last world. In 2010 South Africa became the headquarters of the World Cup, claiming to show the inclusion of Africa in the World Order, the possibility and the ability to organize a spectacle of such magnitude after “overcoming” the policy of Apartheid. However, with racial categories still in place that promote segregation and the basic needs of human development, the waste of money in a “celebration of the first world” generated malaise and questioning regarding government priorities. Brazil was based in 2014 while at the same time developing the research known as Lava Jato (malversation of funds, illicit association and money laundering) that involved politicians not only from that country, but also from the region and funds intended for infrastructure spending to the world. While they tried to clean up the imágen by promoting the brand country and tourism, the case would later end with the political judgment to the successor of Lula Da Silva, Dilma Rousseff. Russia in 2018 welcomed the football selections seeking to improve the reputation of Vladimir Putin (which is practically in power since 2000, with a symbolic alternation 2008-2012) and promoting an appearance of respect for basic freedoms in a country without democratic alternation, representation and transparency, political arrests and disappearance of opponents, and without freedom of expression or respect for minorities. Something similar to what happens today in Qatar. (Today Russia is suspended from FIFA championships as sanction for war in Ukraine).
  • The World Controversies of Qatar 2022: The explosion of FIFAGATE (2015/16), the case of bribery, fraud and laundering involving the then members of the FIFA Executive Board and the governments of the headquarters, and who assumed votes in exchange for money (both to follow in the presidency of the organization as to be designated headquarters) demonstrated corruption within the organization and member countries. From the beginning, the choice of Russia and Qatar was questioned as places without the necessary infrastructure and ideal regulatory framework to house the championships claiming irregularities. Immediately increased criticism of DD.HH violations. by the ideological, religious and cultural characteristics of hosts. Qatar argued its enthusiasm for purifying the prejudices of the Arab and Middle East world, condemned by terrorism and the negative and extremist view of Islam, seeking to present itself as civilized and tolerant to cultural differences with the West. Unfortunately, thousands of deaths in the construction of the stadiums and housing conditions of workers, restrictions on the basic and universal freedoms of individuals, especially women and the LGBTQ+ community, exploitation of resources in a context of pollution, climate change and environmental awareness, could not be avoided. However, in addition to civil society (and with more weight) are the business and strategic resources that Qatar has: oil and gas, two keys to the future of Europe (especially after blocking Russia).

As an additional comment, Argentina aspires to be based in 2030 together with Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Our country is the clear example of the political opportunities and the power that football offers (quality that replicates throughout Latin America): Mauricio Macri first president of Boca (CABJ), after president of the Nation and current president of the FIFA Foundation, Hugo Moyano trade unionist, former Secretary-General of the CGT, was president of Independent (CAI) and founder of the Social Athletic Club and Deportivo Camioneros, Matías Lammens former president of San Lorenzo (CASLA) and current Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Nation, the late president Just a few examples of the football platform that means power in Argentina, which demonstrates how much this sport means in our country, but also the weight and influence it has to forge political bonds and electoral affinity, especially in clubs where indefinite re-election is a standard.

The emerging silence: total, everything passes and the ball does not stain...

Now, the international institutions emerged in the mid-20th century that regulate the relations between all types of global actors provide us with a regulatory framework with dominant rules and values that assume certain control in their way of acting, but are often part of a discursive program, but not exemplifier as FIFA's case.In public international law it is called herecence to the inaction qualified by States in the face of unlawful facts or behaviors of another State and which derive in legal effects, that is, a responsibility. By ende, the silence before a certain situation presupposes consent of it. And this is what FIFA does, because despite not being a law body, it represents states and regions, to official football selections. FIFA promotes and defends values such as: equality, the fight against racism, the DDHH, representation, transparency, governance and democracy; but at the time of choosing headquarters and authorities, it has Machiavellian attitudes as if the end would justify the means and as if DDHH violations were a necessary question of supporting to organize a World Cup. All with the desire to have more power and with symbolic and discursive boycotts that in practice are invisible because participation remains crowded.The cases mentioned exemplify the two sides of the same coin: an organization stained by corruption and power on a global board that divides the profits between its best players, and a sport that promotes a sense of unifying and nationalistic belonging and that believes in the sporting spirit and transparency of competition.Gustavo Neffa wrote for Fin Guru an article (which I recommend:https://storage.googleapis.com/finguru_static/isqg1v_2c3646b111/isqg1v_2c3646b111.htmln style="font-weight: 400;"> ) that relates to economic performance with sports performance in the world, and how the best results in the championship encourage consumption, investment and growth of the countries that have won and that have earned. In addition, Lúcia Boccio analyses the importance of the Qatar World and its influence on the performance of the Alberto Fernández government (https://storage.googleapis.com/finguru_static/hh53n9_ad72fbd471/h53n9_ad72fbd471.htmln style="font-weight: 400;"> ).

It remains to wait to see if speech becomes reality or if geopolitics wins to values.

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stefania bargardi

Stefanía Bargardi

Hi, I'm Stefanía, an international analyst dedicated to consulting and research. I have a degree in International Relations and Political Science from UCA and a postgraduate degree in International Business from UADE. I was granted a scholarship by the IDB and the US Embassy in Argentina for specializations on international trade and the US.
I also received a scholarship from the IDB for a postgraduate course in International Trade Law at the University of Geneva.
I invite you to get to know the world of international geopolitics through my articles.

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