Sports is considered to be a binding factor in the international community and tournaments take place no matter how much hostilities are there between countries. However, sporting events have been marred by political events unfolding across the world.
Sports is considered a binding factor in the international community and tournaments take place no matter how the hostilities between countries. However, throughout history, there have been incidents when sporting events have been marred by politics.
SAMAA Digital explores when politics marred major sporting events throughout the years.
Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was stripped of his world championship and sentenced to prison for five years after he refused to join the United States military when he was drafted in the Vietnam War in 1966.
Sixty-six countries refused to take part in the 1980 Olympic games held in Moscow to protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the 1984 Olympics, at least 15 countries did not participate in the games held in Los Angeles.
NFL star Colin Kaepernick stirred controversy in 2016 when he refused to stand while the United States national anthem was being played before the start of football matches in order to protest what he termed racial injustice against African American people in the United States.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended South Africa from international cricket due to its government’s policy of apartheid in 1970. The team only played against predominantly white nations such as England, Australia, New Zealand and selected only white players before the suspension was enforced.
The extremist group Shiv Sena has voiced its opposition towards Pak-India cricket games. They have attacked Board of Control for Cricket in India offices many times as the two countries sat down to discuss terms for a bilateral series. The two South Asian giants last played a bilateral against each other in 2012.
6. Bahrain Grand Prix
The Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix has alway been marred by controversies. The 2011 race was canceled due to political unrest in the country. Human rights workers also requested the cancellation of the 2012 race because of reports of torture and use of excessive force by authorities.