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Qatar 2022 and the Risks and Rewards of Sportswashing

Why do some governments use sports to launder their reputations – and does it work?
Qatar World Cup Play Podcast

About the Episode

FIFA World Cup 2022 has reached its nail-biting, knock-out stage. For big-spending host Qatar, the tournament has provided an opportunity to bask in the international spotlight, but it has also drawn scrutiny of human rights and the treatment of migrant workers in the Gulf state. On Deep Dish, Jules Boykoff and Minky Worden discuss the growing phenomenon of sportswashing, why sport appeals to autocratic governments, and how businesses, athletes, and fans can respond. Plus, we speak to sports writers and analysts to understand how fans perceive accusations of sportswashing. 

Reading List

About the Experts
Associate Professor, Political Science, Pacific University
Jules Boykoff is an associate professor of political science at Pacific University in Oregon and a former professional soccer player. He is also author of the book, "NOlympians: Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sports in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Beyond".
Director, Global Initiatives, Human Rights Watch
Minky Worden is director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch, where she develops and implements international outreach and advocacy campaigns. She previously served as Human Rights Watch's Media Director, working with the world’s journalists to help them cover crises, wars, human rights abuses and political developments.
Brian Hanson
Former Vice President, Studies
Brian Hanson headshot
Brian Hanson served as the vice president of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He managed the Council's research operations and hosted the Council's weekly podcast, Deep Dish on Global Affairs.
Brian Hanson headshot
Other Contributors
Freelance Journalist
Matt Pearson is a freelance journalist coving covering Bundesliga and European football. He is speaking to us from London, England.
Senior Lecturer, Sports Marketing and Communications, Loughborough University
Elisavet Argyro Manoli is a senior lecturer in sports marketing and communications at Loughborough University. She is speaking to us from Athens, Greece.

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