Noah Stepro

Noah Stepro

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Thoughts on the World Cup

A few months back I posted some thoughts on the Super Bowl that got me into some trouble. Now let me touch the Golden Calf of the day, THE WORLD CUP #worldcupproblems

I figured, “hey, people defriended you after that post about the Super Bowl…why not slam the world cup?” – right? It is no secret, I enjoy futbol more than football…but there are some serous problems with what is going on in Brazil at the moment.

1. Human trafficking: The amount of human sex trafficking expected for the events around the developing country of Brasil is expected to dwarf that of the Super Bowl. This isn’t brought to the country by FIFA but is enhanced by this event (much the same way that sex trafficking was not brought to Seattle or San Diego by the S.B.). I have a good friend on mission in Sao Paulo right now trying to combat the inflammation of this industry brought by the Cup.

2. Poverty: The displacement of many of Brazil’s urban poor has brought sharp criticism of the countries priorities and disbursement of funds. This has brought on a slew of protests and rebellions…time will tell if FIFA really enhances the countries economic stability, wage equity and social welfare (many are doubtful).

3. Nationalism: It is a bit surprising to see the unabashed worship of patriotism and nationalism. I have been cheering the US as much as any other red-blooded American, but I am still a little perplexed by the worshipful nature of sports. Can we enjoy, revel and root for athletes without verging on idolatry? When I juxtapose this with religion and gender in America, most guys will spend money to go to a bar, exuberantly celebrate by cheering, raise their hands and stand up for a team….but when it comes to times of worship…crickets.


Here are a few differences that I see between the World Cup and the Super Bowl

1. Comradery – the sense of international sportsmanship is akin to the Olympics (minus a biting incident).

2. Materialism – this is certainly part of the Cup, but it takes a backstage to the event itself. There are only three main points of commercial interest. Before the game, half-time and after the game (baring extra-time).

3. Sexualization – the absent of a half-time show diminishes the role of sex and objectification within the World Cup.

Are there more problems with the World Cup? Sure! Are there somethings that the NFL does better than FIFA? I’m sure that is true as well. I just offer a few observations…defriending worthy observations;)

What do you think?

Please keep your comments polite and on-topic.