World Cup. Bias: 1 - Facts: 0 ⚽

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Quick World Cup Reminder

The FIFA World Cup is an international soccer/football competition between the top 32 men's national teams. The tournament has occurred every four years since its inauguration in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was suspended due to World War II. Germany is the current champion, which won its fourth title at the 2014 tournament in Brazil. Brazil has the most championships, with 5 in total.

Politics and Soccer

The World Cup and politics have gone hand-in-hand since its creation due in part to the focus on the nation-state team. When nations have been at war, the World Cup has been suspended. When nations vie to host the tournament things can also get ugly, as has been reported in the case of both the current host, Russia, and the next host, Qatar. However, a new slant to the World Cup has been increasingly biased media reporting - what News Bling is all about!

The press biasedly report that Brazil should have won their match against Switzerland. The NY Times describes how Brazil was “embarrassed” by Germany in 2014 and should do nothing less than “win it all” this year. The headlines of this story alone, which convey “shock” and “disappoint[ment],” leave little room for doubt from the reader that Brazil did not meet reporters’ expectations.    

American press supporting the underdog used clearly biased language to describe the unexpected victory of Mexico over Germany. For instance, the Mexican team is described as one that never “surrenders” and having arrived in Russia with its “most talented, most highly experienced, and most highly regarded team.” Compare that with the commentary on the German team that seemed “flummoxed” by Mexico’s speed and “directness” as well as having “given up the steering wheel.” 

Is the World Cup "Uniting?"

While biased sports news might insight fervor in the fans of the team it chooses to support, they ultimately represent the opinions of sports reporters and can, at a minimum, lead to unfairly casting teams and entire nations in a negative light. The Olympics has succeeded in bringing nations together, most recently by opening the door to de-escalation of conflict on the Korean peninsula. Couldn’t the World Cup also aim higher, especially considering the 2018 corruption allegations, rampant racial and LGBT discrimination, sexual harassment, and other issues? 

When you find out the US didn't make the World Cup



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