Nelson Mandela used to say, sports is probably the most effective means of communication in the modern world, bypassing both verbal and written communication and reaching directly out to billions of people worldwide. There is no doubt that sport is a viable and legitimate way of building friendship between nations.
Applying the logic of deduction, the same holds true for football – especially because it’s the most popular (both in terms of watching and playing) and wide-spread sport in the world. Its popularity makes it an efficient tool for manipulating people, both for good and bad causes. While football can send positive messages of equality, non-discrimination, inclusion, fair play, sportsmanship and understanding, it can, on the other hand, encourage national rivalry and hatred, racism, homophobia, nationalism and exclusion.