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Football as Diplomacy

What are the benefits of football diplomacy?

The Benefits of Football ( and sport more generally) Diplomacy maybe summarised as follows:

The arguments being that: • Football diplomacy is low-risk, low-cost and more often than not high profile.

• Informal relationships instigated through football can lead to formal, long term relationships.

• Football diplomacy builds familiarity, favourability and trust, amplifying a nation’s culture and values to broad overseas public audiences as well as governments.

• The concept is innovative and generates public interest in international affairs at home and abroad.

• Football draws interest. It is an attractive and popular vessel through which to conduct diplomacy, with officials keen to attend events and large audiences for public diplomacy campaigns.

• Bespoke football diplomacy initiatives offer governments a comparative advantage over similar regions or countries not using football or sport as a diplomatic tool.

• Football diplomacy creates sustainable partnerships between government and national sports organisations, and encourages mutually reciprocal, win-win policy outcomes.

• Many football organisations already have mature and extensive international networks. In some senses government are simply aligning interests.

• Many football people are “diplomats in tracksuits”. They represent their country on the pitch. Why not off it too? They could be trained ambassadors for their country, building trust and representing values – laying the foundations for diplomatic and business relations Given training this could be a further post athletic career path for athletes off the track. Diplomats and civil servants should also recognise much more the full range of tools that they have in their kit bag.

• Using football diplomacy strategies raises the international profile of a nation’s cities and communities.

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Football: More than a Game

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