Monthly Archives: August 2004

‘Foul play’ ahead of Olympics – wanted: talented foreign athletes

By MARIO De QUEIROZ LISBON

JOHANNESBURG (26 August 2004) IPS – ANY ANONYMOUS foreign national seeking a better life in the European Union (EU) endures nightmarish situations just to obtain a temporary residency permit. But if they show great talent in sports, the barriers disappear as if by magic.

The heavy gates of “Fortress Europe” open wide if an immigrant is a talented athlete, and the countless bureaucratic hurdles abruptly turn into mere trifles that are easily overcome by a battalion of specialised lawyers. Continue reading

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On the game: How an India-Pak cricket cup came to be played … in Canada

Ruthless multinationals battling for media rights to transmit major sports events are whipping up nationalist aggression and raking in massive profits, says Mike Marqusee

What is the fiercest rivalry in today’s non-stop, televisual carnival of global sport? Rangers v Celtic? Real Madrid v Barcelona? The Yankees v the Red Sox? Could it be the 110-year-old Ashes battle between England and Australia? No. I would submit that none of these compares in emotional intensity, or in social and political resonance, with the cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan. It is today’s salient example of George Orwell’s definition of international sport as ‘war minus the shooting.’ That has made it a honeypot for multinational corporations, satellite television broadcasters and other players in the multibillion pound global sports industry, notably Mark McCormack and his International Management Group, the world’s largest and most aggressive sports marketing conglomerate. Continue reading

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‘Foul play’ ahead of Olympics: Wanted – talented foreign athletes

By MARIO De QUEIROZ LISBON

Nigerian Francis Obikwelu competes for the old colonial power, Portugal

(26 August) IPS – ANY ANONYMOUS foreign national seeking a better life in the European Union (EU) endures nightmarish situations just to obtain a temporary residency permit. But if they show great talent in sports, the barriers disappear as if by magic.

The heavy gates of “fortress Europe” open wide if an immigrant is a talented athlete, and the countless bureaucratic hurdles abruptly turn into mere trifles that are easily overcome by a battalion of specialised lawyers. Continue reading

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Who runs world sport? Profile: International Management Group

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The highs and lows of Olympic fever

(August 25, 2004) – OLYMPIC GAMES can no longer stop wars as they did in ancient times, but they still capture the hearts and minds of the whole planet, bring entire nations to a standstill and send fans into frenzied delight or catatonic gloom as flags and fortunes rise and fall and the podium is the only place to be. Continue reading

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