Football can be a force for good and democratisation but it can also shelter some of the worst aspects of society, like corruption and money laundering to mask illegal activities, warns MEP Stelios Kouloglou.
Stelios Kouloglou is a writer and has been an MEP since 2015 (GUE/NGL). He is the founder and former director of news site Tvxs.gr.
Football has always had a political dimension. A 1969 war between Honduras and El Salvador was triggered by a match, while after an infamous 1942 final in occupied Kiev, between a German team and a team of excellent Soviets, the latter were arrested, tortured and some of them executed because they decided to win against the Germans, despite Nazi orders.
Sometimes, football has also been a means of democratisation. By the dawn of the last century, football in Brazil was a white men’s privilege and people of colour had to paint their faces white