In football as in watchmaking, talent

and elegance mean nothing without

rigour and precision.

–Lionel Messi

 

President Putin holding FIFA World Cup Trophy.

 

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is Germany, which won its fourth title at the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

The 21st World Cup is starting in 24 days. The first match will be played between Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14, 2018. However, this world cup too has had its own share of controversy. Only recently a spy was killed in England for which the UK official held Russia responsible. After expelling 23 Russian diplomats, politicians were quick to jump on the World Cup and tried to turn it into a political football. Britain threatened to boycott the tournament but no significant results were produced by the threats.

Britain would not be the first country to use the field of sports as a political bargaining chip. Pakistan has constantly seen the same kind of gestures from India in cricket. Despite the fact that the two traditional rivals bring the largest crowds to the cricket fields, Indian politicians try to mar the spirit of the game with their politics.