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Geopolitics as entirely new ball game

How to be a referee in the match between nationalism and globalism.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2020, 08.35 AM IST
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Yuval Noah Harari used the example of the Fifa World Cup to show how global cooperation coexists with passionate national loyalty.
Albert Camus, who claimed that he had learnt his ethics on the football field, would have approved.

Israeli historian and author Yuval Noah Harari said, addressing a session on ‘How to survive the 21st century’ at the World Economic Forum, that there was “no contradiction between nationalism and globalism. Nationalism isn’t about hating foreigners. It’s about loving your compatriots.”

He used the example of the Fifa World Cup to show how global cooperation coexists with passionate national loyalty. “Countries can’t play unless they agree to the same rules. If you like the World Cup, you are already a globalist,” he concluded with a verbal curve ball that bent it like Beckham.

AFP
​Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari addressed a session on ‘How to survive the 21st century’ at the World Economic Forum​.
Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari addressed a session on ‘How to survive the 21st century’ at the World Economic Forum.

Call it a game of gentlemen that is played by hooligans. Football, with an international fan following of over four billion, is, indeed, a great unifier, described by Dmitri Shostakovich as ‘the ballet of the masses’.

At the same time, the game that Latin America transformed with the famous ‘Samba revolution’, can also on occasion prompt pugnacious patriotism, as demonstrated by the so-called ‘Football War’ fought for 100 hours between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969 before peace was restored by the referee in the form of the Organisation of American States (OAS).

In soccer, there is always, it would appear, someone to come to its succour.

Betrayals, Double-Crossings & Disloyalty: High-Profile Footballers Who Switched Their Clubs...

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Changing Their Stripes

20 Jan, 2020
Professional footballers are idolised by followers of the clubs they represent, but it is not uncommon for them to switch allegiances. Here are a few high-profile players who played with their rivals.
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