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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

How the Qatar World Cup Abets Authoritarian ‘Sportswashing’

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Agustina Vergara Cid and Nikos Sotirakopoulos explain how authoritarian states such as Qatar use international sporting events like the World Cup to launder their reputations. They argue that this practice of “sportswashing” and organizations, like FIFA, who enable it, should be condemned for aiding authoritarian states in their bid for moral legitimacy.

Among the topics covered:

  • How authoritarian Qatar won the World Cup bid;
  • Qatar’s unprecedented World Cup spending;
  • Qatar’s abysmal treatment of migrant workers, women, the LBGT community and its overall lack of rights and freedom;
  • “Sportswashing” as reputation laundering with a long history;
  • Why the call to keep politics out of sports shields authoritarian nations from criticism;
  • “Sportswashing” as trading on a false moral equivalence;
  • The need to end appeasement of authoritarian states and for fans to condemn “sportswashing”;
  • FIFA’s moral culpability for aiding and abetting authoritarian regimes.

Mentioned in this podcast and relevant to the discussion are the entries on moral judgment in the Ayn Rand Lexicon and Agustina Vergara Cid’s article  “Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup is a bigger problem than you think” in the Orange County Register.

The podcast was recorded on December 8, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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