World Cup Interlude

Since the beginning of the World Cup, I’ve been racking my brain to find some link with international law to justify posting about it. I did find this unlikely link a few weeks ago, when Bashir was threatened with arrest if he showed up for the opening match. Since then, there hasn’t been much.

You could probably find some international law connection with the two Dutch supporters arrested for wearing orange mini skirts offered by a beer brand not a official sponsor. According to this article, there seems to be an exceptional national law that allows for the arrest. One would have to see the conformity of this with constitutional norms and international human rights standards…

Even more of a stretch would be to discuss the international law nature of FIFA regulations in light of its hypothetical status as an international organisation. It’s technically an association under Swiss law, with the national football federations (and not States) as its members  (thank you to an astute reader for pointing that out to me). But with some “outside the box” thinking, one could come up with a de facto nature as an international organisation, in light of its powers… I said it was a stretch! If that works out, what kind of international law responsibility wouldit have following mistakes made by referees, which are arguably its agents? When you see the outlandish decision disallowing the third US goal yesterday, it’s a legitimate question.

In relation to that, you could also make a study of international law interpretation when referees systematically penalize forwards trying to prevent the ball from going out for a goal kick, when the defender is blocking it. This is clearly an obstruction, as the defender never has any intention of playing the ball. But it is tolerated here, because beyond the black-letter interpretation of the law, it supposedly fits with the “object and purpose” of the rules. So the question beckons: does the Vienna Treaty apply to FIFA game rules?

Apart from these vague links with international law, the only topics I could think of are: the ridiculous decision of FIFA to prevent local vendors from selling food around stadiums to protect official sponsors, thus defeating the purpose of having a world cup in Africa, the surprisingly poor level of some of the major teams such as Spain and England, the unsurprisingly poor level of France, the more than annoying vuvuzelas, tolerated because they are supposedly “traditional”, when in fact they are a mere savvy commercial endeavor…

No, as much as I would want to, I can’t come up with any really relevant topics justifying a post on the World Cup on this blog…

2 responses to “World Cup Interlude

  1. I have heard about 4 Korean players who may have "disappeared"… Don't you think they might apply for an asylum procedure any time soon ?

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