The Global South part 2

April 18, 2010

The World Cup is coming.  Not to the US, at least not for a few more quadrennial games.  It’s coming to South Africa.  The world is watching, and not just soccer fans.  I obviously don’t know, but I would be willing to wager that the IOC is keeping a close eye on this one.  This will be the first major worldwide games in the modern global south.  Alright, time to defend that.  Austrailia doesn’t count as global south, I will explain shortly.  Argentina, Uraguay, and Brazil have all hosted the World Cup before but they don’t count either.  Mainly because they are soccer crazy, but also because it was many years ago back when your globe’s eastern Europe was covered by for letters.  U.S.S.R. not ….stan. So after World War 2 the world had changed.  Lessons were learned and two super powers emerged.  The USA and Russia.  This could have been considered a bipolar system, two world superpowers.  This ultimately created the Cold War conflict.  As the U.S.S.R. failed at everything the idea of national communism was exposed.  This is why people refer to poor countries as 3rd world countries. The US and other industrial democracies were considered first world.  Communist countries, mainly those in Asia and Eurasia, were considered second world.  Everyone else was third world, it’s just that no one ever said first world and second world.  With the fall of communist Russia, conceptually, first and second world no longer needed extinction.  There was American hegemony, everyone else, and then below that was the global south.  Let me explain that I don’t really agree with this term, Brazil, Austrailia (an argument can be made for a few other countries as well) don’t really fit the description as they are well developed.  But since it is more accurate than third world, I’ll go with it.

So as South Africa opens it’s doors to the world the IOC is watching.  You may not have noticed with the failure of the Obama brigade, but instead of Chicago, Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 summer games.  So for this is almost a case study for the IOC.  I earlier mentioned that Brazil wasn’t quite the global south.  It isn’t, but it’s also not England, the US, China or  Spain.  Really South Africa and Brazil have quite a bit in common.  They are both leaders in their respective regions, economically, politically… basically they are more advanced than their neighbors.  South Africa is not quite up to speed with Brazil, but the World Cup isn’t the Olympics. FIFA does the same thing.  South Africa has hosted international games before.  I haven’t seen “Invictus” but I would guess that centered around the 1995 Rugby World Cup.  And is 2003 they hosted the Cricket World Cup.  You could have caught that on “the Ocho“.  South Africa learned from those games but you can’t prepare for everything.  Already some people were trampled when tickets went on sale.  Last minute updates to rail and road are going to come down to the wire.  Other issues will come up I’m sure.  Crime may be an issue at the games. Same with lodging.  And sense the games are being played at the three capitals of South Africa, I would looking for travel issues as well.

Invite some friends over, find at least one who knows alot about soccer so they can fill you in.  Enjoy the games, there should be some good ones.  Enjoy the ad’s and promotions of South Africa. Sitit back, buy a jersey, and cheer for someone.  But while you are kicked back on the couch somewhere in the world the IOC is taking copious notes, and leaders of nations across Africa are keeping their fingers crossed that all goes smoothly.  The games may be in South Africa but they represent alot more.  Go look at the logo.  The success of these games will ultimately reflect on Africa as a whole, and the rest of the global south.

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One Response to “The Global South part 2”

  1. Kyle said

    As long as the U.S. wins against England on June 12th they can hold the tournament on Mars. This is the year that we, as americans, can declare our independence from the stigma of 3rd world soccer play.

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