Monday 26th September 2016                 Change text size:

Brazil World Cup: Costa Rica wins on social justice

World Cup by Futbol Pictures via Twitter

A new website has been launched to help football fans choose a team to support at the Brazil World Cup, based not on patriotic allegiances or style of play, but on each nations’ sustainability and equality credentials.

Ahead of the opening ceremony this evening, the World Development Movement (WDM) has launched ‘Who should I cheer for?’ to raise awareness of social justice issues, as billions of viewers tune in to what may be the world’s biggest sporting event. 

The website rates the 32 countries participating in Brazil 2014 according to their human development score, greenhouse gas emissions, military spending, gender equality in government and financial secrecy. 

Lots of football fans will be watching every single World Cup game, and we tend to side with one team or another for fairly arbitrary reasons. ‘Who should I cheer for?’ is a light-hearted way of informing which team people support, and engaging them with social justice issues through football,” said WDM campaigner Ralph Allen. 

In this competition Costa Rica wins the cup, as England’s Group D opponents has no military spending while 39% of people in its government are women.

Genuine world champions Spain follow the Central American nation in the table, with Mexico and Argentina coming joint third. 

England comes 20th thanks to high carbon emissions and military spending, though that is one place ahead of the hosts, who rate poorly on equality. Iran sits at the foot of the table.

Photo: Futbol Pictures via Twitter

Further reading:

‘Hacktivists’ claim attacks on Brazil World Cup sites

Ed Davey: National Grid network could cope with England World Cup win

Why sustainability is unlikely to be a winner at the Brazil World Cup

Amazon tribe challenges England World Cup squad to football game

Fifa urged to help protect endangered armadillo that inspired World Cup mascot


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