Home » The Globalization Of Soccer Lead To The Infiltration Of A Country’s Nationalism

The Globalization Of Soccer Lead To The Infiltration Of A Country’s Nationalism

Franklin Foer’s article illustrates that the globalization of soccer lead to the infiltration of a country’s nationalism. During the post-WWII era, soccer matches extended outside the particular teams’ borders and up came the transnational tournaments. Owners of the European teams realized that there was money to be made and embarked on a journey to find the most skilled players, which could be located in countries that were poor. As the search for these players continued, politicians, sportswriters, and citizens felt that by importing players from outside their country their local players would not be able to develop their talent.

Some political officials went so far to “prohibit the importation of foreign players” or like Brazil “declared Pele as a national treasure in 1961 and legally forbade his sale to a foreign team. ” Essentially, owners not only bought up players, despite their nationality, but also purchased teams in deprived countries. Moreover, owners of the “biggest clubs” began to diversify their portfolio and purchased cable stations, restaurants, and mega stores that expanded outside their country. The outcome of these massive shopping sprees was that the big clubs became richer, while the poor clubs were osing some of their star athletes.

It also became obvious of what teams would win certain tournaments because of the purchasing power of the clubs (“The richest clubs have always dominated their leagues. “) Manchester United and Real Madrid may embrace the ethos of globalization by accumulating wealth and diminishing national sovereignty. But a tangle of intensely local loyalties, identities, tensions, economies, and corruption endures- in some cases, not despite globalization, but because of it. So what comes after importing players? Importing coaches for teams.

Foer gives the example of how England, notorious for allowing ex-players coach their teams, imported Sweden’s Sven Gorvan Eriksson to be the coach of the national team. “Gordan Taylor, the head of the English players’ association spluttered, I think it’s a betrayal of our heritage. ” Xenophobia, or the hatred of foreigners, seems to be the problem in England and some other countries. As in Eriksson’s case, the English fans can relate better and feel better represented by an English coach rather than a Swedish one.

Moreover, the fans do not want a change in the “style” of the ame, or rather the style the English team plays. There is already of set standard of play, for example, “hard tackling, reckless winning of contested balls – and not others, such as fancy dribbling or short passing. So the English fans view Eriksson as a threat because he has a different style he wants to integrate.

Foer goes on with other examples of imported players who has not been successful in “transforming the style and culture of national soccer teams. Globalization has brought opportunities to the sport. Foreign Investors came from all over the world to invest into Brazilian teams so hat they can “wipe away the practices of corrupt elites … and replace them with the ethic of professionalism, the science of modern marketing, and a concern for the balance sheet. ” Why did it fail? Because of the “cartolas” or the “top hats” that the investors had to do business with. The people of Brazil have an “attachment to their populist leaders and politicians …

They like them because the populists paint themselves as defenders of the community against the relentless onslaught of outsiders. ” In the eyes of the people, they do not view their representatives as orrupt, even though the cartolas from Brazil pocketed the foreign investors’ money. After the money was seized, the cartolas tried to make the investors appear as if they were the bad guys because they were the ones “selling star players to hated cross town rivals – previously an unthinkable act. ”

Another issue Foer with is the clash of hostility between rival teams. When people have a self-interested reason for getting along, they are supposed to put aside their ancient grudges and do business. ” Racism, hatred, and ignorance are well integrated into the game of soccer. Two rival teams in Glasgow, Celtics (Catholics) and the Rangers (Protestants), taunt the opposing team with songs and chants about their religion. Foer states, “Cross town rivalries are, of course, a staple of spots, but the Celtic-Rangers rivalry in Scotland represents something more than the enmity of proximity. It is the unfinished fight over the Protestant Reformation.

Foer also believes that the two teams, who have been nicknamed the “Old Firm,” have benefited from this hatred monetarily-wise. Tribalism is what keeps Glasgow alive, at least for the games one hopes. Chelsea, and its band of English Hooligans, is infamous for its chaotic and disturbing behavior. “Its fans joined the xenophobic British National Party and merged with violent racist gangs like the notorious Combat 18. ” While in Auschwitz (known as Nazi Germany’s largest concentration camp), the fans of Chelsea displayed the Sieg Heil salute to tourist.

Moreover, the group known as the Chelsea headhunters supported David Irving, Holocaust Denier, when he went to trial in 2001 for libel and “provided security for his rallies. ” Hatred continued with the fans when he second richest man in Russia, Roman Abramovich, who also is Jewish, purchased Chelsea. One Chelsea fan said of Abramovich, “I like the money but the Star of David will be flying down the (Stamford) bridge soon. ” Eventually, by Abramovich’s investment into Chelsea, the team “jumped to the top of the English Premier League table, the anti-Semitism vanished altogether. Victory can only cover the ugliness of what Foer calls “localism. ”

Franklin Foer articulates the process of globalization over the soccer community in conjunction with Benjamin R. Barber’s “Jihad vs. McWorld, hence the title, “Soccer vs. McWorld. ” Since the popularity of soccer had risen tremendously, and the game extended out of club teams’ national borders and entered into the global market. According to Foer, “Once competition globalized, the hunt for labor resources quickly followed. Club owners scoured the planet for superstars that they could buy on the cheap. [1]

Essentially, what happened was that there were no longer homogeneous teams because club owners began recruiting players from all over to help their teams become competitive and to bring in money. “Politicians and sportswriters fretted that the influx from abroad would uash the development of young local talent. “1 Not only would this “quash the development” of talent, but it would also shatter the sense of Nationalism throughout several countries, including England and Scotland. Now enters the idea of Jihad. Jihad is a “retribilization of large wraths of humankind by war and bloodshed. [2]

Foer gives examples of how hatred and racism was alive in Glasgow and in the Chelsea teams. The idea is simple; there is a strong sense of tribalism in the fans. They feel connected to each other, or at least to other fans that support the same team, but the moment a foreigner r outsider steps into the picture they begin to display ethnocentrism. The general idea is that there is no connection because of the lack on national identity. 2 And this continues as clubs began to import players from all over and when the clubs became “multinational conglomerates” purchasing anything from cable stations to restaurants. 3]

Jihad virtues are, “… a vibrant loyal identity, a sense of community, solidarity among kinsmen, neighbors, and countrymen. “[4] To these people, they see an invasion of their culture and fear that those who are not from their nation will uperimpose their culture’s values and beliefs on them. The ideology of Barber is that as we move into markets into other countries, we create enemies by the ideas that they are going to be forced to change. 4

Benjamin Barber describes the McWorld portion of his theory as “an onrush of economic and ecological forces that demand integration and uniformity and that mesmerize the world… ressing nations into one commercially homogenous global network. “4 No part of the world is isolated from another. Barber claims, “Every nation, it turns out, needs something another nation has; some nations have almost nothing they need. 4 McWorld disregards national borders, which leads to the thought process of the residents of a particular country that national identities are ignored and making huge profits is the only goal of foreign investors. But the foreign investors were not the only people with concerns of making money.

Foer states that the reason that capital from foreign investors did not work out in Brazil was due to the “corrupt” officials who embezzled their capital investments. 3 And while this is all happening, Brazilian officials, or the “cartolas turned on their partners” and stated that the foreign investors ere the ones to blame for “selling star players to hated cross town rivals. “3 The Brazil community believed that their officials would be the ones to safeguard Nationalism and protect them from foreign investors who had their own self-interest.

Yet the cartolas were spending the money that bought their national talent. Moreover, in another article by Foer he mentions, “Nike has poured $200 million into Brazil that has allegedly landed in the hands of corrupt officials. “[5] While reading Foer’s article, I discovered that nationalism does play a part in soccer still today. Every now and then, because of so much tudying, I get the opportunity to watch Argentina soccer at a bar that prides itself on its Argentine heritage.

The obvious difference between national teams and club teams is that a player must be a citizen of Argentina to play nationally (World Cup) and club teams recruit players from all over. A trend that started, not recently, is countries scouting out for the most talented players from around the world to play on their national teams. Once these countries find their talents, they immediately start the process of citizenship. But going back to my point, when I visit this bar and watch Argentina club teams such as Boca Jrs. r River Plate play I quite often overhear racist comments.

As mentioned before, club teams allow the recruitment from any country to play. Boca Jrs. has a Columbian that often gets some playing time on the field. And even though he makes an assist or scores, I hear comments of how he will never be good enough for the team or that he should not even be on the team because he is a Columbian. It is the same with “cross town rivalries” Boca and River. These are issues internally in Argentina; there are other issues that Argentina carries over including the Falkland war with England that they arry over in the matches they play.

Soccer is the least popular in the United States. There is little fan- base to support the MLS. Something that did happen, regardless of this situation is, as Foer stated, “the New York Yankees and Manchester United will hawk one another’s jerseys in their team stores. And if all goes according to plan, they’ll broadcast one another’s games on their own cable networks. “[6] The main marketing objective in this deal is to build a fan- base for Man. U. in the U. S. while doing the same for the Yankees in England. And since the Yankees is one of the best baseball teams,

Manchester United owners are hoping that they can influence people to start watching a little more English, specifically Manchester United, soccer. In America’s view, all foreign countries are suppose to be fascinated and fixated with our country. It would only be “right” if we pushed our culture on their country, right? In 2002, I attended the World Cup in Japan. And one of the most recognizable players of soccer, at least in my time, is David Beckham followed by Ronaldo. While in Japan, I encountered several people from a couple of countries, specifically Asian countries, that wore Beckham jerseys.

The point is that national identity is not as servere as it once was. Becks makes millions each year advertising in Japan and all over the world, with the exception of the U. S and that place above the U. S. called Canada I think (kidding), because he is thought to be a “god” of soccer. But soccer has faced the challenge of national identity and the next sport that will face it will be the NBA. Now the NBA is recruiting more foreign players and there might come a point in time when those players from the U. S. might feel the threat of a loss of national identity but it won’t hurt the team owner’s pocketbook.

Globalization is ideal for any sport. Going back to Beckham, his Manchester United team made a substantial amount of money on the jerseys they sold of Beckham worldwide. They even made a substantial amount of money when they sold him to Real Madrid. The main idea is that no part of the world can prevent globalization and preserve the national identity entirely. As the newer generations come into play, they have a more acceptance and understanding of the process of globalization. Cultures are willing to experience with other culture’s ideology and practices without too much hesitation.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.