Which football team should I support?

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Which football team should I support?

By Effie Jordan


Brazil has a lot of poverty and inequality... (© World Development Movement)

Mexico or Cameroon? Switzerland or Ecuador? Who should I support in the World Cup? When you watch a football game between two countries (that are not your country), you usually decide to support one team. But this decision is often not logical. Maybe you have an emotional connection, or you always want the weaker team to win, or maybe you have made a bet.

If you don’t really know who to support (or just choose which colour t-shirts you like best), this website "Who should I cheer for" (support): http://www.whoshouldicheerfor.com/ could help you decide. It puts countries in order based on five global justice issues.

So for the Mexico-Cameroon game, I supported Mexico. Because Mexico has more women in parliament, spends less on its military (as percentage of GDP) and has a more equal balance of money between people than Cameroon.

But maybe environmentalists would choose Cameroon, with much lower greenhouse gas emissions per person. It is not a surprise that the US has the highest carbon emissions of all the countries in the World Cup.

In the World Cup, the World Development Movement (WDM) and others are writing on whoshouldIcheerfor.com about some of the global justice issues in the countries that are playing.

Some things show social justice, but there are other issues relating to the World Cup countries, like Philip Morris (who make cigarettes). They are trying to take the Australian and Uruguayan governments to court because they Australia has started using plain boxes and Uruguay is using health warnings on cigarette packets.

For the games between the US and European countries, we can think about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This is a trade agreement the EU and the US are trying to agree. It would give more power than ever before to big businesses.

There are activists in the global south eg. from Food Sovereignty Ghana who are fighting to protect local rights in farming. And they fight for small farmers in the countryside.

And we show how people are fighting against something the British government is supporting. The British government is helping businesses take over Africa’s food, land, seeds and markets. The small farmers are losing everything.

Who Should I Cheer For is also a place for activists in the West to say what they are doing. For example, The London Mining Network has been to visit many of the people who lived near the very big Cerrejón open coal mine in Colombia. People were forced to move away because of this mine, which is partly using British money. Jubilee Debt Campaign are supporting Argentina, after the US Supreme Court said Argentina still has to pay their very big debt. This debt comes from the time of the military dictatorship; and the money is going to “vulture funds” (who buy weak businesses at a very cheap price).

And of course many people are asking if a country with such a lot of poverty like Brazil should have the World Cup ...

Look at the "Who should I cheer for" website: http://www.whoshouldicheerfor.com/

Effie Jordan is a campaigner at the World Development Movement.

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/blog/2014/06/24/world-cup-brazil-social-justice/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).