I’ve written before about what happens when sporting events and international relations collide. This morning, I ran across two articles that examine what might best be described as the underbelly of the global sports-industrial complex.
One, in Der Spiegel, takes a look at the mixed impact that global demand for soccer balls has on the hand-stitchers of a Pakistani village that produces 40 million of them a year. That number goes up to 60 million during World Cup years.
The other, by IRIN via AllAfrica.com, discusses an Ethiopian government report that found that human traffickers are using promises of a World Cup-driven job boom in this year’s host country, South Africa, to entice victims to head south.