Most of sport sociologists believe that nothing awakens national feeling so easily and strongly as sporting success. Glorious history, royalty, a splendid army, democracy and the welfare system, ancient ideals and traditions – none of these things can measure up to sport in providing bonds of national solidarity or in creating a collective consciousness of one’s country.
“It’s [sport] a power that can move people’s feelings in a way that nothing else can do,” said South African leader Nelson Mandela after his country won the Rugby World Championships in 1995. During the last World Cup in Moscow many commented on social media wishing to see Palestine participating in the World Cup; to hear the Palestinian national anthem. Let’s imagine what it would feel like if that happened? Even when we heard the national anthem of other countries, we had a great desire to hear our own national anthem!
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