Global voices | Intriguing stories, beyond FIFA’s control

Ishmael seems to feel that football may receive blame where it doesn’t deserve it and credit for improving society, when such gains may be illusory. She writes:

Much of the study of traditional International Relations revolves around the nebulous concept of ‘power’—the power of football is limited, in that it cannot in itself change the ‘system’ (or the society in which it is played …). Football, ultimately, is a game—and even the world’s most popular game cannot change the world. The power of football comes from its ability to influence, to catalyse, to inspire and to provoke. Football facilitates, but it does not cause.

These are sane pronouncements. Like midfield maestro Juan Román Riquelme, Ishmael has managed to still the frenetic pace of media proclamation over the first two days of World Cup activity. While Bono may mouth the platitude on an ESPN voiceover, the world is not about to change from football, but we are also not about to bludgeon each other in tribal discontent.

Yet the steelpans do prod on the fighting 10-man Trinbagonian side, and the heart quickens. As Ishmael concludes—can we quote her here?—”vibes it up.”

Update: One of the most intelligent, diverse broadcasts in English in advance of the World Cup finals, “Explaining the World Cup,” aired 8 June on Radio Open Source. In addition to interviewing Ishmael, who transmits the life force of Trinidad through one’s ear buds, host Christopher Lydon speaks with German journalists and authorities on sport in the Balkans.

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2 comments on this post.
  1. adwred:

    Beautiful thoughts – this is a great blog, thank you.

  2. stacy-marie ishmael:

    Thank you for your comments. It has been a day that I shall long remember.

    Quote me at your leisure.

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