Carole Gomez
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Boycotts and diplomacy
When the talking stops
in Sport and diplomacy
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According to the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, the independence of sport is one of the most sacrosanct principles. Proclaimed in the Olympic and FIFA Charters, the ‘autonomy’ of sport has to be protected and preserved. Yet, in light of the financial dimension of sport alone, its separation from politics is in reality a myth. In the social stakes, sport has become a classic field of intervention for politics. In this light sport may be seen as an ideal way to sanction or punish a state that is considered unacceptable. The sports boycott then becomes a diplomatic tool to be wielded alongside other political tools. The chapter presents a conceptual understanding of boycotts and their place in global diplomacy, as well as familiar examples from the Cold War and more recently.

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Sport and diplomacy

Games within games



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