Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 23:21 | SYDNEY
Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 23:21 | SYDNEY

Sport and the future of nationalism

By

Sam Roggeveen

@SamRoggeveen

17 June 2008 09:53

Passport reports on a US basketballer who, despite having no Russian heritage, nevertheless took joint Russian-US citizenship so that she could play in the Russian national basketball team. Those who watched Australia defeat Qatar in a soccer World Cup qualifier on the weekend might also have noticed a few Latin-sounding names on the Qatari teamsheet; these players were naturalised for the express purpose of recruiting them to the national football team.

The motivation in both cases seems to have been similar: financial gain for the players, and sporting glory for the host country. So it's hard to decide whether this kind of thing portends the erosion of nationalism or is a peculiarly modern reinforcement of it.