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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

11 October 2005

Football, up and down

It has been a mixed few days for football (or soccer, if that’s your thing). In Liberia, George Weah, a former European football star, is one of the frontrunners in the national elections being held today. One of Liberia’s most prized exports, Mr. Weah was named footballer of the year in 1995; now he has returned home to try and heal his country from civil war (1).

Conversely, in Brazil, the government’s woes have been matched by a football scandal: official Edilson Pereira de Carvalho, one of the ten Brazilian referees accredited by FIFA, has admitted to taking bribes to fix games (2). The country is in shock. Sure, the government is corrupt. But football too? That’s just too much to handle.

It’s all about precedent. Corruption I can handle (anyone who follows Greek soccer has corruption built into the system). But will Mr. Weah’s election open the floodgates for more athletes to seek high office? I am afraid it might. Who’s the athlete-politician you would vote for (or against)?

References:
(1) The BBC has an online profile of the main contenders (link)
(2) Jonathan Wheatley, “Soccer mirrors politics as Brazil referee admits fixing results,” Financial Times, 11 Oct 05

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