Short overview: The global spectacle of footballToday football is regularly referred to as a globalgame. Women’s football is considered to be the fastest growing game in theworld.Butwhat do we mean by the term global and is every country in the world involvedin football or a member of FIFA – the world governing body? How does the growthof Olympic football compare with the growth of football at the World Cups? Howdo global forces impact upon local football – or where you are?Global football: Part II have tried to explore what we mean by the terms needed to examine thearguments about why football may be thought of as global.Do you thinkfootball is global and if you do what does that exactly mean for you? What evidence orfacts would you draw upon to support your answer?An historicalperspective could help provide an insight into the fact that football was notalways global and when it changed to become more international.Read the articlebelow and try and understand for yourself whether football is in fact global orincreasingly international only.Let’s take Motherwell Football Club, a Scottish club thatdates back to 1886 as our reference point. A club that is embedded within itslocal community, and is known today for the amount of talent, home-grown youthtalent, that comes through into the first team.
But Motherwell has also overthe years been international in outlook. From a very early stage in itsdevelopment, Motherwell played as far as South America and teams in Brazil fromthe 1920s and the 1930s onwards. More recently, it has played in a number ofEuropean competitions, regularly qualifying for UEFA competitions.So Motherwell, a local club, international in outlook,having international players that play for a wide variety of countries, notjust Scotland but more recently players are signing up for clubs in Ireland andEstonia as well.What do we mean by global football? Clearly football as agame is played all over the world. People watch it. Finance flows all over theworld through football. People bet on it.
Motherwell Football Club is both alocal club but an international club. It has supporters’ clubs in many parts ofthe world. So we have to be very careful when we use this term “globalfootball.”The term “global football” is used to describethe growth and influence of football. FIFA tell us that 270 million people areinvolved in playing or officiating. Billions of people watch the World Cupevery four years.
In 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina became the 77th country totake part in the World Cup finals. 46% percent of the population watched atleast one minute of the 2010 World Cup. You can use these fact and others toargue that football is increasing its presence in the world in terms ofparticipation, the number of countries involved, and viewing figures. Evidenceand data is important when making such claims.
Discussions of global football use a number of terms.These can be complex.There are no agreed definition. A brief description ofthe following terms may be useful.
It might be easier to think of the terms”global” and “international.” Globalisation is the processof integration arising from the exchange of money, culture, ideas, politics,and people. It is often used to describe a single world economy or a one worldview.It is a historical process, which means rates of globalisation change overtime.Human societies across the globe have established closercontacts over many centuries, but the pace of change has accelerated recently.
The term “globalisation” helps us to describe and analyse a number ofsocial, political, and economic changes that have affected football. We’ve beentalking there about the term “global” and “globalisation”. Isthe term global football a good thing or a bad thing? What are the values thatare associated with global football? Are they good? Are they bad? Could they bebetter?Should we really talk about global or internationalfootball? And let’s not forget that relationship between the local and theglobal and the international. Internationalisation denotes a high level ofinternational interaction between states, companies, and transnationalagreements. The term is used to distinguish a position from globalisation.
Itinvolves the growing tendency to work across national boundaries. This termdenotes levels of interdependence. Internationalisation is a process shaped by agreementsbetween nations, states, and transnational operators. The term”internalisation” helps us describe and analyse trends and growth infootball that is ongoing, but not yet totally global.
The term is sometimesopposed to the values associated with globalisation. A third term is development.The term is wide and varied, but when the term is used inthe context of global football, it usually refers to a process that normallynotes a change from a less to a more desirable state. It is often used indiscussion of developing countries where football for development is closelyassociated with international development goals. Development and unevendevelopment often refer to relations between economically and politicallypowerful states and less powerful states, and how this relationship affects thedevelopment of football.