Beyond sport, the underlying politics of the World Cup

Jun 11, 2014

The World Cup kicks off tomorrow in Brazil.
Credit Flickr - Anderson Vaz

Once every four years, hundreds of millions of soccer fans get swept up in the excitement of the World Cup.  The month-long spectacle begins play tomorrow in Brazil.

The event is not just about sport. It’s also an exercise in politics and international relations. This is particularly true for the host country, which could see both positive and negative side effects from hosting the game.

Dr. Peter Alegi is Michigan State University’s resident expert on the World Cup. He’s a professor in the Department of History and author of several books which explore the social and political side of soccer, including “Africa’s World Cup: Critical Reflections on Play, Patriotism, Spectatorship, and Space.”