每日英語跟讀 Ep.K127: 阿拉伯國家的足球權力學 In Soccer, Power’s Always in Play

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.K127: In Soccer, Power’s Always in Play學

On the pitch, soccer is a cipher for war, with uniforms, formations, victory and defeat. Beyond the pitch, soccer is power, with owners seemingly using their teams as much for the corollary benefits as for any love of the game.


Sports in general, but especially soccer — given its global appeal — are an ideal way for tycoons to purchase prestige and for countries to burnish their reputations, particularly when governments have unsavory associations with issues such as human rights abuse, gender inequality or anti-democratic politics.


“Soccer and the Arab World: The Revolution of the Round Ball,” an exhibition at the Arab World Institute in Paris that runs through July 21, surveys the modern history of the sport in Africa and the Middle East, charting changes in gender and racial politics, government and finance, through the lens of the game.


Viewing the Arab world from the French perspective, the show ranges from midcentury events like the rise of the first Algerian national team, whose players broke away from France even though Algeria was still a colony, to more recent ones, like the purchase in 2011 of the French soccer team, Paris St.-Germain, by a Qatari state-run company.


Binding the show together is an exploration of political clout: using soccer to explore the increasing reach of some Arab nations, while France’s global influence is decreasing — seen in the cultural legitimacy that the sport provides.


“New Arab countries are in the game,” said the show’s curator, Aurélie Clemente-Ruiz, on a recent tour of the exhibition. “It’s not only North Africa or the Middle East but all of these countries from the Arabian Peninsula — Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates — that are very involved in soccer, and it’s a way for them to exist in an international point of view. It’s a real soft power and, to them, very useful.”


At the root is the ability of sports to shape perceptions. For the likes of Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, being associated with global soccer can help divert attention from the international indignation at the killing of a dissident.


For Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, one of the United Arab Emirates, his ownership and lavish spending on the English team Manchester City automatically buys a certain fame and influence. Similar reasons inform Qatar’s control of Paris St.-Germain and the country’s efforts to win the right to host the men’s World Cup in 2022.

對阿拉伯聯合大公國成員阿布達比的曼蘇爾親王來說,他在英國曼城足球隊的所有權跟大手筆支出,自然會為他贏得一定的聲譽及影響力,而類似的原因也說明了卡達為何要掌控巴黎聖日耳曼隊,以及努力贏得2022年男子世界盃足球賽主辦權。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/3793604



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