Diplomatic actors in the world of football
Individuals, institutions, ideologies
in Sport and diplomacy
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This chapter considers the ways in which selected perspectives from the new public diplomacy, as well as established forms of diplomatic study of both state and non-state actors, can illuminate and enhance an understanding of the history and growth of the governing body of world football and the ‘continental’ confederations recognised by FIFA. It reflects on the ways in which a rigorous study of sporting institutions such as FIFA can contribute to an understanding of the crossover between sport development, sport governance and related forms of diplomacy. A new analysis of the cultural and political dynamics of the developments of FIFA’s regional bodies warrants a forensic approach to the analysis of the historical phases of the Confederations’ emergence. The chapter therefore considers the cases of the formative years of CONCACAF and Oceania, small players initially in global football politics but by 2016 providing fifty-two full members of FIFA, almost a quarter of the powerbrokers making up the 209 members of its Congress. In conclusion, the generally unacknowledged contribution of sport governing bodies to forms of diplomatic practice and relations is reconsidered, in the comparative light of other studies within the book and the detailed consideration in this chapter of the selected phase of FIFA and Confederation development.

Sport and diplomacy

Games within games

Editor: J. Simon Rofe


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