Diplomacy to reduce segregation caused by geo-political issues.

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair. Sport speaks to people in a language they can understand.” Nelson Mandela

Sporting events like the Olympics, the Cricket World Cup, the Football World Cup, the European Championship, the Africa Cup of Nations, and the Super Bowl are some of the most-watched events across the world.

Few things are as widely followed, understood and propagated on a mass scale as modern sports are, argues “Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture,” authors Andrei Markovits and Lars Rensmann. From New York to London, Nairobi to Tehran, Beijing to Buenos Aires, a goal is a goal, a touchdown a touchdown, and the meaning of a red card or the losing of a wicket, can all be universally understood.

Governments that use Sports Diplomacy:

  • Individual nations are placing sport as a central pillar in their foreign policy. The Australian Government launched their Sport Diplomacy 2030 initiative February of 2019. Australia is using sport to strengthen its reputation in the world and help build partnerships with other countries. This in turn helps with trade and helps grow the economy.
  • The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State uses sport as a tool for diplomacy as well. They highlight that they use sport as a way to transcend linguistic and sociocultural differences and that it can build links between countries.
  • Another concrete example of sport diplomacy can be seen on the Korean peninsula. During the 2018 Winter Olympics, we saw a joint North and South Korea delegation. They also announced that they intended on launching a joint bid for the 2032 Olympics. Sports are bringing these two countries together.