Perhaps, the most popular sport in the world, Football has the ability to bring people together regardless of their gender, race and religious beliefs. This could be contributed to the power that sports have on all of us; it is a power that transcends all divisions and could surpass all political differences uniting fans from different parts of the world.
The FIFA 2021 Arab Cup has had a similar impact. The huge football event managed to unite the nations of the Arab World in their love of the sport. The FIFA Arab Cup saw 16 teams from the region compete against each other for the title of becoming the Arab champion. For its return, Qatar was chosen to become its host country, offering an exclusive preview of what fans can expect from the upcoming World Cup championship, which will be held in Qatar as well on November 21, 2022.
Rivalries between fans over football can arise for many reasons from the political to the technical, and everywhere, host countries could be affected by them. For instance, historically, Morocco and Algeria have had several disagreements over the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Despite the simmering conflict, both teams competed in a great contest that showcased both sides’ sportsmanship and class. Surprisingly, Fans of both opposing teams could be seen sitting next to each other cheering on without any incidents. Algeria won the match in a thrilling penalty shootout that caught everyone off guard.
Other conflicts between Arab countries, such as the ongoing tensions between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, could be alarming. However, haven’t seen any particular incidents breaking out.
Be that as it may, this cup won’t end all political tensions since nothing on the planet works like this; however, what it can do is to normalize connections and help the people of the two nations redirect their energies into the game they love the most— football!
It goes without saying, sports may bring about a lot of good in the world and help us overcome many of its brewing conflicts. Indeed, this is the actual power of sports, both in terms of the togetherness it provides and the heartwarming ties it fosters between nations.