Does Reputation Management Through Sports Work For Countries in the Middle East and North Africa?

Are nations in the Middle East using sports as reputation management to improve their image in the eyes of Western Countries? Another term for this is sports washing. According to WordSense Dictionary the term sports washing is defined as “The use of sporting events to improve a polity’s reputation, especially to distract from human rights abuses” (WordSense). This does not just extend to human rights abuses, it also extends to corruption and other controversies. This semester I will be taking a deep dive into the concept of sports washing and how different countries in the Middle East and North Africa utilize this strategy. I will be looking at different sporting events and organizations such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the LIV Golf Tour and much more. I am very excited to begin this journey and hope you guys enjoy!

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