Every four years, soccer fans take a month off normal life and are generally glued to their TV screens for possibly the mostly widely watched sporting event in the world. The curious thing about the World Cup is that its spell is far-reaching and goes well beyond the 32 nations that are participating. Even South Africans, who haven’t had a team in the tournament since we hosted in 2010, will be spending a lot of time in front of the TV over the next month. Of course, these events are not always just about the sport. South Africans will be more aware than people in most other countries about the long and unresolved debate about mixing sport and politics. And due to our own history, perhaps we should also be worried about whether the World Cup, which is supposed to be symbol of global unity, should be held in a country that doesn’t have the best of reputations when it comes to fighting racism within its soccer fields.

A reminder on Thursday was a report from the UK’s The Guardia...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now