Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon: Global

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon: Global

Article excerpt

Sven Goran Eriksson and David Beckham have launched a charity to bring about world peace through football, with Mr Beckham's immortal words: 'I think my advice to any children out there looking for world peace is, you've got to enjoy life, be happy, and if football or sport is going to make a difference, then, you know, go for it, because it's important to people.'

If football really is a promoter of peace, Mr Beckham might like to try to explain why Britons, many of whom simply wish to potter harmlessly around cultural sites, have been advised, for their own safety, to stay away from Turkey on 11 October, the day England plays Turkey in a European Championship qualifier.

Football does play a role in international relations, but it is not the one imagined by Messrs Eriksson and Beckham. International sporting fixtures offer a chance for Western leaders to shake hands with the leaders of Third World countries, lose gracefully and thereby build up some goodwill to see them through the uncomfortable business of putting the boot in over the contest that really matters: world trade. …

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