Episode 51: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 2018 World Cup

In this episode, Stephanie’s out (and has nothing to contribute) as Swedian and former guest of the podcast Kerri Na Basaria talk shop about the 2018 World Cup in Russia that’s going on right now. As die-hard football fans, we discussed the four nations left — France, Belgium, England, and Croatia — and predict who will make the final (we both want a France v. England final, because the history! and also so that they’ll finally get another World Cup).

But beyond our thoughts about these last few games, we also chatted about our personal histories and relationships to football, in particular how we have matured in our understanding of football and its relationship to the world — especially the World Cup’s complicated and often-times messy relationship to the world. We discuss the impact past World Cup has had on host countries, including the controversy over the displacement of indigenous communities during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, as well as the headlines that followed this year’s World Cup, such as Mexico’s victory over Germany and its impact on the country’s presidential election, the declaration of contentious political identities in goal celebrations, and so on. We talk a lot about the politics of football, the politics of the World Cup, and how — as “responsible” football fans — it is our duty to love the beautiful game for what it is while also appreciating its impact (good, bad, and ugly) on the rest of the world.

Note: this podcast was recorded on Monday, 9th July 2018, before the semifinals between France & Belgium and England & Croatia.

Thanks for listening!

For those interested in learning more about the topic, we’ve provided links to resources as well as other recommended readings.
FIFA World Cup — keep up with World Cups now and to come!
World Cup threatens indigenous group in Rio — courtesy of DW
The Social Cost of Brazil Hosting World Cup 2014 — courtesy of Bleacher Report
After Russia’s glorious World Cup run, fans ask: ‘Where was Putin?’ — courtesy of Reuters
Can the World Cup help elect controversial Mexico legend Cuauhtémoc Blanco? — courtesy of the Guardian
Why did Xhaka & Shaqiri celebrate by making ‘double eagle’ signs against Serbia? — courtesy of Goal
German team humiliated at World Cup… and AfD blame it all on one player — courtesy of The Local
Iranian women watched the World Cup in a stadium for the first time in nearly 40 years — courtesy of Vox
The Cost of Stadiums to Host a World Cup — breaking down the economic cost of hosting the event
Game of Our Lives — a podcast talking about the world according to football