The World Cup Isn’t About Football. It’s About Everything.

    While some countries, like Germany, France, Brazil and Spain, may hope or expect to be the stars of the show, others — see, for example, first-timers like Iceland and Panama — are happy just to have made the lineup. As ever, those who failed to qualify will have their noses pressed enviously against the fence.

    There may be no more fitting host, given the state of the world today, than Russia. Be sure to read Ken Bensinger’s explosive report here about how Moscow emerged unscathed from a corruption investigation that cut to the heart of FIFA. Every country that hosts this tournament does so in order to boast, to make a statement about its place on the world stage. In 2010, South Africa hosted in part to show that an African country, despite doubts and stereotypes, could superbly stage a global showpiece. Brazil did it in 2014, against the backdrop of egregious corruption and soaring inequality, to project the sense its own competence and prowess.

    When France won the World Cup in 1998, claiming the trophy on home soil with a team whose heroes hailed from diverse backgrounds, its victory was viewed as a decisive triumph for inclusivity and

    Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/09/opinion/world-cup-2018-offsides.html

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