A beautiful game

The FIFA World Cup was first held from July 13 to July 30 in 1930 in Uruguay. The inaugural edition came into action after then FIFA president Joules Rimet decided to organise men’s football tournament in the international level. A total of 18 matches were played among 13 teams in the first World Cup. Since then, it is organised every four years. This is the 21st edition of FIFA World Cup hosted by Russia featuring 32 teams. The final match will be played on Sunday.

Football’s biggest showpiece has its own social and economic impacts. And of course there are some negative aspects.

The game brings people together as they gather to watch the matches. So it strengthens social relationship. Players from diverse cultural background play together with respect and compassion, thereby bringing together societies. In addition, football helps to reduce anxiety, depression, fear, tension and other psychological disturbances. It encourages cultural exchange. When the matches are broadcast live, millions of people learn sportsmanship, culture and leadership quality from the players and the heterogeneous mass.

The World Cup simultaneously has economic impact. The host country benefits the most. The tourism industry reaps optimum benefit as people from around the world congregate in the host country to watch the games. During their free time, they explore the country. It also creates employment opportunities. Actually, employment starts as soon as the host country starts building stadiums and grounds. The other beneficiaries are global brands and advertising agencies, as they can reach out to millions of people around the world in real time as matches are broadcast live. Even those countries from where people watch the games on TV also benefit. In Nepal, television sales and business of other merchandises such as T-shirts of different teams soared.

But there are some negative effects. Players can acquire life-long injuries during the matches, as games in the World Cup are played with a lot of intensity. The World Cup also invites some illegal activities like betting and gambling. Fans often tend to engage in confrontation over their teams.

Nevertheless, the World Cup is no doubt a great celebration. Despite some negative effects, it has huge sociological and economic importance for the global community. Needless to say, football is one beautiful game.