Authoritarian Rules Football: When sport becomes a political weapon

“On the surface at least, this line from John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi explains the relationship between soccer and political power, except, obviously, the tennis balls are soccer balls, and the stars are ruthless tyrants swinging the racquets. Whether it is the 1974 Zaire World Cup squad (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo) that was a pawn of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, Argentina’s 1978 World Cup team that became unwitting poster boys for the country’s military junta, or the army and secret police-backed clubs of the former USSR and the Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, the stories of autocratic leaders manipulating teams and players to boost their popularity or egos are legion.” fusion (Video)

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