2. Is Qatar 2022 so much worse than previous World Cups?

It feels a bit weird to boycott Qatar, knowing both previous World Cups, in Brazil and Russia, were also beset with scandals. I watched almost all matches back then, so why wouldn’t I watch now? Is the Qatari combination of corruption, human rights abuse, and propaganda that much worse than with previous tournaments?

To answer this question, I looked at World Cups in the past and compiled a gruesome Top 5 of the most scandalous editions of all time. First, this helps place the 2022 tournament in its historical context, because this is certainly not the first time FIFA picked a controversial host nation. Second, this rundown of the World Cup’s history makes it possible to compare the situation in Qatar with those at previous editions. So, take a seat and learn about the five most questionable World Cups to date.

5. South Africa, 2010

The first and, so far, only World Cup on the African continent was child’s play compared to the other editions on this list, but it was still far from an innocent affair. Thousands of people were evicted from their homes to make room for stadiums[i] – or even for the expansion of parking lots, because FIFA thought they weren’t big enough[ii]. A public school in a poor neighborhood in Nelspruit was demolished to create space for the Mbombela Stadium and, when local politician Jimmy Mohlala subsequently accused the government party ANC of corruption, he was killed in his own home by masked men[iii]. During the tournament, local entrepreneurs were violently removed from fan zones, because FIFA only wanted their official sponsors to sell food, drinks, and merchandise[iv].

Still, this World Cup is a tragedy mostly because of the huge financial losses South Africa suffered. The country invested 3 billion dollars in stadiums, infrastructure, and security, of which they only recouped ten per cent[v]. FIFA, which always lets the host nation pay all the bills, meanwhile, saw a 3,6-billion-dollar turnover. Sepp Blatter then dared to say that the World Cup was “a huge financial success for FIFA and South Africa”[vi]. While the media attention has undoubtedly been great for the country’s tourism industry, the average person will not have gained much. This is symbolized by the ‘White elephants’ now scattered around South-Africa: enormous stadiums which are rarely sold out and cost more money than they make[vii].

4. Brazil, 2014

Brazil still hasn’t recovered from the double whammy of this World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Already at the 2013 Confederations Cup, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was booed at matches, after which her speech at the opening World Cup game was cancelled[viii]. Rousseff’s popularity had taken a nosedive because of the financial mismanagement[ix], the eviction of a quarter million people[x], and deadly accidents during construction of stadiums and infrastructure[xi].

In the weeks before and during the tournament, huge protests in almost all major cities of the country were violently suppressed by riot police and even the military[xii]. And although Brazil is a much bigger footballing nation than South Africa, it still managed to do even worse in terms of ‘White elephants’: the Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasilía for example, cost 900 million dollars (three times more than budgeted), but after the World Cup it was used mainly as a parking space for busses[xiii].  In the meantime, FIFA made record profits and did all it could to make the tournament seem like a resounding success. “The people from Russia and Qatar who have been in Brazil, they have learned a lot”, Jérôme Valcke said, without noticing the irony of his words. “I’m sure the next two World Cups will be as beautiful as this one.”[xiv]

The problems surrounding this World Cup were so substantial, that the Seven Pillars Institute, a think tank specializing in financial ethics, analyzed the ethics of the whole undertaking[xv]. It concluded: “Brazil’s government should have put the needs of its citizens before the allure of hosting an international event such as the World Cup. The hosting of the tournament can be deemed unethical because of its diversion of government funds and attention away from the immediate needs of the Brazilian public. (…) The manner in which the organization of the tournament has taken place—with the country’s organizational inefficiency, bureaucratic corruption and the marginalization of the public occupying the spotlight—leaves the government faced with an uphill task to restore faith in its commitment to ensuring the satisfaction of society’s basic needs.”

In part because of the Olympics, where all these same mistakes were repeated, the government couldn’t win this uphill battle. People were done with Rousseff and her party. In 2018, far-right strongman Jair Bolsonaro was elected president.

3. Italy, 1934

The fact that this awful tournament only ends up third on this list, tells you all you need to know about the intimate relationship between FIFA and dictatorships. It took place almost one hundred years ago, so some details haven’t survived, but luckily These Football Times wrote an extensive history lesson about this World Cup[xvi].

At the 1934 World Cup, everything revolved around fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and his attempt to demonstrate the superiority of the Italian people. This all started with a lengthy lobbying campaign to organize this tournament, and a far-fetched theory about how football wasn’t invented in England, but in Italy. Eventually, Mussolini all but bribed FIFA: he promised to pay for all potential financial deficits, an offer FIFA just couldn’t refuse. For this was long before the World Cup was synonymous with huge profits. World champions Uruguay refused to take part and England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales rather played their own competition. This World Cup was far from the mega-event it would become.

When Italy had won the bidding process, Achille Starace, head of the Italian Department of Propaganda and inventor of the fascist salute, was appointed to lead the organization of the tournament. Enormous stadiums were built, surrounded by ‘beautiful’ fascist architecture to demonstrate Italy’s greatness. In Turin, the Olympic Stadium was renamed Stadio Benito Mussolini. At the opening match, the supreme leader made a show of buying his own ticket among the regular supporters. Although stadiums remained half empty, radio commentators were instructed to proudly mention the huge crowds that attended each match.

Unfortunately for Mussolini, most European nations didn’t have much media attention for his World Cup. Only in Spain the matches were followed closely. In France and Germany, people didn’t care much, while English newspapers didn’t even print the results. But this wasn’t a big problem, because the tournament was mostly a way for Mussolini to indoctrinate his own people even further. With other countries taking it less seriously, Italy had a better chance of becoming champions.

Still, not everyone is convinced that Mussolini believed in a happy ending: speculations about the bribing of referees are still ongoing. The violent quarter final between Italy and Spain (in which Italian Mario Pizziolo even broke his leg) was a shady affair, but especially the semifinal in which Germany faced Czechoslovakia was highly dubious. The Italian referee Rinaldo Barlassina is said to have clearly favored the Czechoslovakians, so Italy wouldn’t have to play the strong Germany side in the final. Barlassina succeeded. 

But the pressure was still on for Italy, especially when Czechoslovakia took the lead in the 70th minute. Late goals from Raimundo Orsi and Angelo Schiavio eventually ensured an Italian victory and the continuation of the fairytale of Italian dominance. In a ceremony in which the fascist anthem was played, the winners received the Jules Rimet Cup as well as a second trophy, which Mussolini had commissioned especially for this occasion, and which was six times bigger than the official trophy. Four days later, real history was made: Mussolini and Hitler met for the first time, laying a foundation for further cooperation. We all know how that ended.

2. Russia, 2018

It’s no coincidence that the three last World Cups all feature on this list, but Russia clearly takes the crown for worst of this century. For now. While South Africa was mainly a financial disaster and Brazil added violent oppression, Putin’s tournament went one step further: it also functioned as a shameless PR campaign. For five weeks, Russia seemed to be a modern, free and happy country, where the infamous hooligans never showed themselves and where fans from all over the world received a warm welcome[xvii].

Vladimir himself was beaming with pride while he casually posed for pictures with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Marco van Basten, Diego Forlán and – of course – Gianni Infantino. The latter took it upon himself to be Putin’s personal PR manager, saying: “We all fell in love with Russia. This is a new image of Russia we now have.”[xviii]

To craft this image, the regime invested over 14 billion dollars, making it by far the most expensive World Cup ever (until Qatar came along)[xix]. During the tournament, police were ordered not to share any negative stories with journalist, but instead could only talk about solved crimes[xx]. To beat down any possible protests, the Cossacks – nationalist paramilitaries – where on standby in Moscow for the first time since the 1920s[xxi]. The hooligans, who had brought mayhem to Marseille during Euro 2016, were quietly dealt with when the Kremlin arrested two hundred of their most important members[xxii]. Also, it was proudly announced that the rainbow flag would not be forbidden in the homophobic country, albeit only during the weeks of the World Cup[xxiii]. (Still, an LHBTIQ+ activist was arrested during the tournament[xxiv] and a gay couple ended up in hospital after a violent attack[xxv]).

Of course, no kind of propaganda beats success on the football pitch. The Russian squad was very average on paper, but surprised everyone by reaching the quarterfinals, only to be beaten by the world class Croatians in a penalty shootout. Earlier, the Russians had defeated a star-studded Spanish side, also after playing a grueling 30 minutes of extra time and winning a penalty series. The Russians seemed to never get tired.

It’s hard not to associate these feats of endurance with the Russian doping program, which came to light after the Winter Olympics in 2014. Performance was enhanced in thirty different sports by using all kinds of substances, after which evidence was systematically swept under the rug[xxvi]. Football was one of these sports and whistle blower Grigory Rodchenkov recognized at least one of the players in Russia’s World Cup squad from his doping database[xxvii]. Several experts called FIFA’s efforts to track down and punish Russian doping use too lax[xxviii].

The general public wasn’t concerned by all this. The ball was rolling, Russia seemed a fine country, was it really all that bad? People forgot about democracy being a puppet show in Russia, where Putin’s opponents are killed in broad daylight and peaceful activists like the members of Pussy Riot – who stormed the pitch during the World Cup final – have been prosecuted for years.  The fact that Russia annexed part of Ukraine and to this day denies any involvement in the downing of commercial flight MH17[xxix], seemed to be wiped from our collective memory. The homophobia[xxx] and racism[xxxi], promoted by the Kremlin, appeared not to exist anymore.

Russia 2018 was definitive evidence for the power of sports as a PR tool: host a few fun games and people will forget the worst atrocities. Only after Putin – who awarded Infantino a Russian medal of honor for his services – started an all-out war against Ukraine in 2022, the fairytale of ‘modern’ Russia was finally confirmed to have been an illusion all along. 

1. Argentina, 1978

This is probably the worst moment in football history. During matches in the River Plate stadium the inmates of nearby concentration camps could hear the crowd celebrating[xxxii]. Leopoldo Luque, striker of the victorious Argentinian team, admitted years later: “In hindsight, that World Cup should never have been played.”[xxxiii]

Argentina was awarded the tournament in 1966, long before bloodthirsty tyrant Jorge Videla came to power. That only happened ten years later, when the army general violently took over. Shortly after, the first stories about the way in which Videla dealt with his political opponents started surfacing. Mostly young, leftwing activists were regularly abducted, tortured, drugged and thrown into the ocean from helicopters. As opposed to right now with Qatar, the Netherlands proposed to boycott the World Cup. Johan Cruijff even stayed home. Only in 2008 he told reporters that this was for private reasons instead of political ones[xxxiv].

Anyway, the World Cup proceeded as planned and the Argentinian junta were given the perfect opportunity to sanitize their negative image. After the US and European countries had put pressure on Videla, he used the attention garnered by the tournament to tell the world how, despite an ‘anti-Argentina campaign’, his country was doing very well. During matches, stadiums were filled with his supporters and Argentina’s successful performances made sure no foreigner kept thinking about the thousands of missing people who had been critical of the regime[xxxv].

Pressure on the Argentinian players was huge. They started in a group with France, Italy and Hungary, which prompted a government official to tell Luque “this could turn out to be the group of death as far as you are concerned”. Earlier that same day, the brother of a friend of Luque had disappeared, later to be found drowned in the River Plate, his legs encased in conrete[xxxvi].

‘Luckily’, the players received help from both referees and opponents. During the match against France, Daniel Passarella made a clear foul in his own penalty area, after which the ref allegedly said: “Please don’t do that again, or I’ll have to give them a penalty.”[xxxvii] And when La Selección was close to elimination in the second group phase, needing a 4-0 victory against star player Téofilo Cubillas’ Peru side, the Argentinians inexplicably won 6-0. To this day, the Peruvians are suspected to have lost on purpose[xxxviii]. Luque said about that game: “To be honest, I don’t know. But Videla did much worse things than bribery, so…”

Eventually, they made it to the final, where they faced The Netherlands. The Argentines did everything and anything to win, taking this so far that Oranje nearly left the pitch in protest. Furthermore, Italian referee Sergio Gonella’s decisions didn’t exactly favor the Dutch. Argentina beat hem 3-1.

Not everyone just played along with the junta’s use of football as a PR stunt. The Argentinian manager, Cesar Luis Menotti, motivated his players by telling them they were not playing for the regime, but for the regular people in the streets. Some groundsmen held a silent protest by painting black ‘armbands’ on goalposts in the stadiums[xxxix].

The prevailing story however, both in Argentina and abroad, was about Videla and his government not being all that bad. Additionally, the World Cup victory underlined Videla’s claims of the superiority of the Argentinian people, leading to a surge of ecstatic nationalism all over the country[xl]. The junta said the World Cup was not won by eleven players, but by 25 million Argentines together. People felt the nation was heading in the right direction. Partly because of this feeling, the deadly dictatorship managed to stay in power until 1983. It remains questionable if they could have held on for that long if it wasn’t for their World Cup success.

So how about Qatar?

The previous examples show three elements which make up an immoral World Cup: corruption, human rights abuse and using football as propaganda. While South Africa mostly dealt with corruption and a killed politician here and there, the violent quashing of protesters was added in Brazil. Russia went a step further by also throwing some elaborate propaganda into the mix. Italy and Argentina also featured all three elements. So far, 1978 can be considered the worst edition because the PR campaign surrounding this tournament had a clear connection to the consolidation of power for a junta which killed thousands of people. Never before or since has football played such an obvious supporting role in the suffering of so many people.

But now there’s Qatar. To compare the Qatari government to the murderous regimes of Videla, Mussolini, or Putin would be unfair, but Emir Tamim Al-Thani is just as authoritarian. Corruption surrounding the bidding process still hasn’t been definitively proven, but the sheer amount of smoking guns is almost impossible to ignore. It’s also painfully obvious how Al-Thani looked at previous World Cups and saw a PR opportunity. What Argentina and Russia did, Qatar can do too.

The big difference between previous World Cups and Qatar however, is the human rights abuse. While the death toll of the junta’s rule is estimated to be at least 9000, only deaths after 1978 are indirectly connected to the World Cup. We could say that without the World Cup, the reign of terror would have lasted shorter, and many deaths could have been prevented. But can we say that those deaths are directly caused by a football tournament? No. That kind of logic could lead to the absurd conclusion that Rob Rensenbrink was indirectly responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of deaths by hitting the post during extra time in the final…

The estimated 6,500 deaths in Qatar, however, are a direct consequence of the World Cup. If a different country had been picked in 2010, stadiums and infrastructure would have never been built. The workers wouldn’t have died and their children wouldn’t have grown up without their fathers. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, wouldn’t have been trapped in Qatar and forced to work as modern slaves.

With regards to FIFA, there’s another important difference: the World Cup in Argentina was awarded long before Videla came to power, but in 2010 they made a deal – or so it appears – with the Qatari sheikhs themselves. The Kafala system was already in place. Blatter and his cronies are complicit, just like with Russia, and Infantino is complicit as well, if only for his passivity. In this way, we can argue that the 2022 World Cup surpasses all previous editions, becoming the worst crime added to FIFA’s already extensive list of wrongdoings. The abuses in Qatar are directly caused by the World Cup, in a way we’ve never seen before.

All this also shows how misguided it is to downplay the immorality of Qatar 2022 by saying ‘there’s something wrong in every country they could have picked’. In some countries there are a lot more terrible things going on than in others. Luckily, not every country is like Qatar. None of the above applies to Denmark, or Paraguay, or Croatia, which are all countries which never hosted a World Cup before but do have a rich football history. In 2010, FIFA could have opted for Qatar’s competitors: Australia, Japan and South Korea, or the United States. Maybe they’re not perfect countries and maybe some of them have already hosted the tournament recently (while the US eventually did get the 2026 edition), but they were far better options than Qatar.

Alright, so the 2022 World Cup turns out to be uniquely morally reprehensible. This supports my decision not to watch it. But on the other hand, maybe the world should watch Qatar 2022, to see everything that’s wrong. And then demand that the country improves its workers’ rights.

I wonder about the following: without this tournament, wouldn’t the Qatari just have started a different megalomaniac building project? And wouldn’t that have devastated just as many lives, but without the world knowing about it? Isn’t the magnifying glass put on Qatar because of the World Cup actually a good thing, which will improve the workers’ conditions? These questions will be the focus of my next chapter, but first I’ll take you back to 2002, when I saw my second World Cup. 

[i] Werth, C. (2010, March 6). World Cup 2010: South Africa Gets Ready. [Article]. From Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/world-cup-2010-south-africa-gets-ready-73089

[ii] BBC News. (2010, June 2). South Africans fight eviction for World Cup car park. [Article]. From: https://www.bbc.com/news/10205455

[iii] BBC Sport. (2009, Januart 5). SA official gunned down. [Article]. From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7812113.stm

[iv] Amnesty International. (2011, March 27). South Africa: Human rights concerns during the World Cup. [Article]. From: https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/south-africa-human-rights-concerns-during-the-world-cup/

[v] Neate, R. (2010, December 10). South Africa recoups just a tenth of the £3bn cost of staging World Cup 2010. [Article]. From The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/leisure/8192484/South-Africa-recoups-just-a-tenth-of-the-3bn-cost-of-staging-World-Cup-2010.html

[vi] CNN. (2011, March 3). Blatter: 2010 South Africa World Cup huge financial success. [Article]. From: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/SPORT/football/03/03/football.fifa.blatter.finance/index.html

[vii] Duval Smith, A. (2009, December 15). South Africa’s World Cup venues are ‘white elephants’. [Article]. From The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/south-africa-s-world-cup-venues-are-white-elephants-1840958.html

[viii] BBC News. (2014, March 12). Brazil World Cup: Fifa scraps speeches to avoid protest. [Article]. From: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-26539972

[ix] Maese, R. & Phillips, D. (2014, July 13). 2014 World Cup draws to a close in conflicted Brazil. [Article]. From Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dcunited/2014-world-cup-draws-to-a-close-in-conflicted-brazil/2014/07/13/0b5fcc8e-0adb-11e4-929c-4cd4865c3725_story.html

[x] Daibert, P. (2014, May 26). Brazil’s evicted ‘won’t celebrate World Cup’. [Article]. From Al Jazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2014/5/26/brazils-evicted-wont-celebrate-world-cup

[xi] Davies, W. (2014, May 9). Brazil World Cup 2014: Eighth death at football stadiums. [Article]. From BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-27337339

[xii] BBC News. (2014, June 13). Brazil World Cup: Clashes at Sao Paulo and Rio protests. [Article]. From: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-27811657

[xiii] Wahl, G. (2016, August 11). Brazil’s white elephant soccer stadiums hardly worth their exorbitant costs. [Article]. From Sports Illustrated: https://www.si.com/olympics/2016/08/11/brazil-soccer-stadiums-white-elephants-manaus-brasilia-world-cup-olympics

[xiv] BBC Sport. (2014, July 14). World Cup 2014: Sepp Blatter says finals were ‘a 9.5 out of 10’. [Article]. From: https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/28300991

[xv] Mitra, A. (2014, September 8). An Ethical Analysis of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. [Article]. From Seven Pillars Institute: https://sevenpillarsinstitute.org/ethical-analysis-of-the-2014-fifa-world-cup-brazil/

[xvi] Hart, J. (2016, July 27). When the World Cup rolled into fascist Italy in 1934. [Article]. From These Football Times: https://thesefootballtimes.co/2016/07/27/when-the-world-cup-rolled-into-fascist-italy-in-1934/

[xvii] Winter, S. (2014, March 23). US calls for Fifa to drop Russia from hosting World Cup in 2018. [Article]. From The Express: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/466357/US-calls-for-Fifa-to-drop-Russia-from-hosting-World-Cup-in-2018

[xviii] NBC Sport. (2018, July 14). Infantino enjoying status perks of World Cup, fawning over Putin. [Article]. From: https://soccer.nbcsports.com/2018/07/14/infantino-enjoying-status-perks-of-world-cup-fawning-over-putin/

[xix] The Moscow Times. (2018, June 8). Russia’s World Cup Costs to Exceed $14Bln, Media Reports. [Article]. From: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2018/06/08/Russias-World-Cup-Costs-to-Exceed-Record-Setting-14Bln-a61732

[xx] Pinchuk, D. (2018, June 14). Russian police told to keep lid on bad news during World Cup. [Article]. From Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-soccer-worldcup-russia-crime/russian-police-told-to-keep-lid-on-bad-news-during-world-cup-idUSKBN1JA2L7

[xxi] Carroll, O. (2018, June 9). Meet the nationalist paramilitaries set for an official role in Russia’s World Cup. [Article]. From The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/cossacks-russia-moscow-putin-rally-demonstration-world-cup-a8348221.html

[xxii] Parkin, S. (2018, April 24). The rise of Russia’s neo-Nazi football hooligans. [Article]. From The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/apr/24/russia-neo-nazi-football-hooligans-world-cup

[xxiii] Gilchrist, T.E. (2018, June 1). Russia Will Allow Displays of Pride During World Cup Despite ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law. [Article]. From Advocate: https://www.advocate.com/sports/2018/6/01/russia-will-allow-displays-pride-during-world-cup-despite-gay-propaganda-law

[xxiv] Donohue, K. (2018, June 14). LGBT+ Activist Peter Tatchell Arrested in Russia. [Article]. From GCN Magazine: https://gcn.ie/peter-tatchell-arrested-russia/

[xxv] Dunne, P. (2018, June 15). Gay Couple Suffer Brutal Beating At Russia World Cup. [Article]. From GCN Magazine: https://gcn.ie/gay-beating-russia-world-cup/

[xxvi] Panja, T. (2019, November 26). Inside Russia’s Failed Doping Cover-Up. [Article]. From The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/sports/russia-doping.html

[xxvii] The Guardian. (2018, 31 mei). Russian World Cup player recognized by doping whistleblower. [Article]. From: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/may/31/russian-world-cup-player-recognised-doping-whistleblower

[xxviii] Panja, T. (2018, January 3). Critics Say FIFA Is Stalling a Doping Inquiry as World Cup Nears. [Article]. From The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/sports/worldcup/world-cup-russia-doping.html

[xxix] Rowland, M. (2018, May 24). World Cup ‘under a shadow’ say MH17 families, in open letter blaming Russia. [Article]. From ABC News: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-24/mh17-families-speak-out-against-russia-before-2018-world-cup/9794656

[xxx] Luhn, A. (2013, September 1). Russian anti-gay law prompts rise in homophobic violence. [Article]. From The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/01/russia-rise-homophobic-violence

[xxxi] Shuster, S. (2010, December 23). Racist Violence Threatens Russia’s World Cup Plans. [Artikel]. From Time Magazine: https://web.archive.org/web/20101225031111/http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2039519,00.html

[xxxii] Winner, D. (2008, June 21). But Was This The Beautiful Game’s Ugliest Moment? [Article]. From Financial Times: https://web.archive.org/web/20100611233444/http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e6347c16-3f2a-11dd-8fd9-0000779fd2ac.html

[xxxiii] Stevenson, J. (2010, May 18 mei). The story of the 1978 World Cup. [Blog]. From BBC Sport: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jonathanstevenson/2010/05/the_story_of_the_1978_world_cu.html

[xxxiv] BN DeStem (2008, April 17). Roofoverval hield Cruijff weg van het WK in 1978. [Article]. From: https://www.bndestem.nl/overig/roofoverval-hield-cruijff-weg-van-het-wk-in-1978~a24dd4b3/

[xxxv] McDonnell, P. J. (2008, June 28). Argentina’s bittersweet win. [Article]. From LA Times: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2008-jun-28-fg-mundial28-story.html

[xxxvi] Hersey, W. (2018, June 14). Remembering Argentina 1978: The Dirtiest World Cup Of All Time. [Article]. From Esquire: https://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/a21454856/argentina-1978-world-cup/

[xxxvii] Spurling, J. (2016, March 11). Argentina’s 1978 World Cup: The Ugly Truth. [Article]. From Sabotage Times: https://web.archive.org/web/20181029112324/https://sabotagetimes.com/football/argentinas-1978-world-cup-the-ugly-truth

[xxxviii] Roper, M. (2012, February 9). We fixed it! Peru senator claims 1978 World Cup game against Argentina was rigged. [Article]. From The Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2098970/Argentina-cheated-World-Cup-1978-says-Peru-senator.html

[xxxix] Forrest, D. (2017, July 5). The political message hidden on the goalposts at the 1978 World Cup. [Article]. From The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/football/in-bed-with-maradona/2017/jul/05/1978-world-cup-argentina-political-protest-goalposts

[xl] Tomlinson, A. & Young, C. (2006). National Identity and Global Sports Events: Culture, Politics, and Spectacle in the Olympics and the Football World Cup. Albany: State University of New York Press.

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