Sports Diplomacy News
12/09/2013 – 12/22/2013
- 12/09/2013 – The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim ben Hamad Al Thani, has sponsored the Doha Goals Summit, a closed-door forum that gathered sports ministers from all over the world. The event has mainly focused on the issues of financing sports competitions and using sports as a force for social and economic change. It is part of Qatar’s “soft power” strategy, involved in a process of improving the image of a wealthy but isolated country.
- 12/10/2013 – In early December, Iraqi girls’ soccer team visited an indoor sports complex in Raleigh, North Carolina. This exchange is part of the U.S. State Department’s Iraq Soccer Visitor Program (launched by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs). This event followed a trip of U.S. athletes to Iraq last April. All girls wanted to go back, but showed a strong willingness to fight for equal rights.
- 12/12/2013 – In the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death celebrations and funeral, many people reaffirmed his belief in the power of sports. Recently, he has harnessed the representation and substantial cultural impact of sports to highlight his message of ending apartheid in South Africa. During the 2010 World Cup, he has also served as a symbol of a new South Africa, a country where discrimination between white and black people is supposed not to exist anymore.
- 12/15/2013 – At the Kabbadi World Cup 2013 in Ludhiana, Indian wrestlers edged out their Pakistani opponents in the final. On this occasion, Pakistan’s representative and Punjab Minister for Sports and Education Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan said “we want to improve relations through sports. With this event, we want to say that dialogue and not war is the way to progress”.
- 12/18/2013 – In response to anti-gay legislation in Russia, American President Barack Obama named two gay Sochi Olympic delegates, including former tennis champion Billie Jean King. Voices had previously called for a boycott of the Games, but Obama found a smart alternative. The U.S. will not send a president, vice-president, former president or first lady for the first time in fourteen years.