World Cup

Croatian nationalist singer Marko Perkovic (known as Thompson) performs during an event to welcome Zlatko Dalic, Croatia's national football coach, at a local stadium in the Western-Bosnian town of Livno on July 24, 2018.

In Croatia, Nazi Sympathizers Are Welcome to Join the Party

The national soccer team celebrated its strong World Cup showing alongside a singer who glorifies the country’s fascist past. But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Members of the Croatian soccer team celebrate after scoring a goal against Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16. (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

How a WWII-Era Chant Found Its Way to World Cup 2018

Symbols have power, even in soccer. Just ask Croatia.

A woman is locked up in a transparent suitcase reading "Stop Human Trafficking! 60 Years of Human Rights" on a luggage belt at the airport in Munich, Germany, on December 11, 2008. The Human Rights organization Amnesty International staged the action to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Putin Doesn’t Care about Sex Trafficking

Russia could have done something to prevent sexual exploitation of foreign women during the World Cup. It chose not to.

Flags with the logo and the World Cup 2018 mascot Zabivaka are seen in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow on June 30, 2018 during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Vasily MAXIMOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Read FP’s Coverage of the 2018 World Cup

War is politics by other means — and so is the World Cup.

Peruvian players huddle prior before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between Australia and Peru at Fisht Stadium on June 26 in Sochi, Russia. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Peru’s National Identity Was Bound Up With Conflict and Corruption for Decades — Then It Qualified for the World Cup.

On our podcast, how a country scores two goals in the soccer tournament and finds redemption.

Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric appears in court to testify in a corruption trial in Osijek, Croatia, on June 13, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Croatia’s Soccer Stars Should Be Heroes. Instead, They’re Hated.

A corruption scandal involving the country’s top club and the national team’s captain has enraged Croatian fans.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan plays soccer during an exhibition match at the Basaksehir stadium on July 26, 2014, in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

Captain Erdogan Can’t Help the Turkish Soccer Team

With so much political, social, and financial capital invested in its national squad, why can’t Turkey qualify for a World Cup?

Then Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping kicks a Gaelic football  as he visits Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, on February 19, 2012. (Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images)

Xi Jinping Is the World’s Most Powerful Soccer Coach

China's team is a national embarrassment — but the party chairman has big plans for the game.

Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the 2018 World Cup match between Serbia and Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 22. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

For Serbs, Switzerland Isn’t Neutral

Serbia’s nationalist soccer fans hoped to restore their national pride by beating a Swiss team led by Kosovar stars. Instead, the Kosovo-born Xherdan Shaqiri handed them a humiliating defeat.

The Egyptian national team's star striker Mohamed Salah, left, and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov pose in Grozny, Chechnya, on June 10, ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s Muslim Strongman Is Winning the World Cup

Ramzan Kadyrov is using sports diplomacy to bolster his image.

Russian security officers stand guard at the Fan Fest zone in Nizhny Novgorod, one of the host cities of the Russia 2018 World Cup, on June 19. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s World Cup Isn’t as Safe as It Looks

The Kremlin has prepared for the soccer tournament by cracking down on terror threats — the wrong kind.

Fans cheer for Mexico during an international friendly soccer match against Croatia at AT&T Stadium on March 27 in Arlington, Texas.  (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

If Trump Tears Up NAFTA, Sports Will Keep North America Together

The joint 2026 World Cup is yet another sign that Canada, Mexico, and the United States are becoming increasingly culturally and economically interdependent.

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Can China Buy Its Way Into Becoming the World’s Next Soccer Powerhouse?

Breaking transfer records is one thing. Fielding a quality team is another.

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FIFA Says It Will Delay Vote for 2026 World Cup Amid Corruption Scandal

FIFA's secretary general also defended himself against allegations of corruption.

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Will FIFA’s Sepp Blatter Be Shown the Red Card?

As corruption indictments swirl, soccer’s governing body prepares for a vote of confidence in its CEO.

Clemens Bilan / AFP / Getty Images

And the Winner Is… Schland

In case you couldn’t tell, a new Germany has won the World Cup.

Jamie Squire / Matthias Hangst / Getty Images

So Far Away — and So Close

Why Germans and Argentines have so much in common, even in soccer.

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