Politics can have a major influence on sports as we have seen throughout this course and the various topics. National governments can often control what a sports league can or can not do, or if not direct influence they are powerful persuaders when it comes to the image of a sport or league. The 1978 world cup is one that will forever live in infamy due to the events taking place off the football pitch. The right wing dictatorship in Argentina was torturing members of the opposition and everyday citizens were living in fear from their own government. The Argentine team won the world cup but their achievement on the pitch was not what the world remembered. It is astonishing to see the impact it had on every day life in Argentina. The victims were forever traumatized by the event that many can not watch football without triggering bad memories from 1978. The government was able to hide the atrocities thanks to the win by the national team and the distraction was enough to let the torture carry on.
Politics can also drive people out of a country as we see in the story about the brothers Lizandro and Diego. Soccer was an opportunity for them in U.S. as their family came from a very poor upbringing in El Salvador but the U.S. offered hope. This is the idea of many immigrants coming into the U.S. that they are leaving bad lives behind for a better life and freedom in the United States. The boys were able to get an education and they even received scholarships to college to play soccer but thanks to the U.S. politics that all got torn away. The United States under President Trump has taken a much stronger stance on immigration. Diego was born in the U.S. and thus is an American citizen but Lizandro was 1 when he was brought to the U.S. by his family and is a dreamer. The Trump administration has taken a staunch approach to dreamers and going so far as to deport them along with those who enter the country illegally as adults. It is sad to see such a great opportunity taken away from someone who did not have a say in where they ended up, but it goes to show the power of politics on sports even in the U.S.