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International Relations and Human Rights Observatory


Democracy World Cup

CADAL adhered to the initiative by Bertelsmann Foundation that classifies each of the 32 countries taking part in the Football World Cup in Russia 2018 for its elections (playmaking), freedom of expression (fan culture), protection of civil rights (defense), social inclusion (team spirit) and corruption prevention (fair play), offering it in Spanish.

This timely initiative by Bertelsmann Foundation contributes to get to know more about the internal reality of 32 countries participating in the Football World Cup in Russia 2018, calling the attention on some that have a good performance in the sport but a low political and social quality such as Argentina and Brazil. Also it highlights the cases where there are an extensive human rights violations to generate more democratic international solidarity with its victims. 

Latin America in the Democracy World Cup

The Argentine team has “good playmaking” since “elections are free and fair with few restrictions”; a “mediocre defense” because “civil rights are protected but with serious restrictions”; a “good fan culture” because “freedom of expression is guaranteed, but the composition of the strongly polarized media landscape is controversial”. On the other hand, the South American country reflects a “mediocre team spirit” since “around one third of the population is excluded from social participation due to poverty, and social inequality is high”. It also has a “mediocre fair play” because of widespread corruption.

Brazil also has a good playmaking, good fan culture, mediocre defense, mediocre team spirit and mediocre fair play. Peru that after 36 years qualified for a World Cup, in the democratic field presents flawed team spirit and a flawed fair play. On the other hand, Latin America’s bet is concentrated in Costa Rica and Uruguay, countries that stand out with the best democratic performance in the region.

Thus, in the Democracy World Cup Argentina falls defeated by Iceland with a better civil rights protection and better social inclusion. Denmark thumps Peru overpassing it in every category, but more so in fair play (corruption).

México, country elected with the US and Canada as hosts for the World Cup 2026 and that will play a democratic game in July this year, are defeated by Sweden and Germany, and also by South Korea.

Panama defeats Tunisia, but is defeated by England and Belgium. Colombia, on its turn is another Latin American country ending last in its group at the Democracy World Cup, overpassed by Poland, Japan and Senegal.

The 8 groups and the final of the Democracy World Cup

In terms of the 8 groups in the cup, Group A is the least democratic with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay that goes easily to the next round. On the other hand, Group E is the most democratic with Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia, so in this group verde-amarela should be left out in the first round.

The Democracy World Cup final is defined by penalties between Sweden and Switzerland who has no differences in elections, freedom of expression, protection of civil rights, social inclusion and corruption prevention.


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