The Global Sports-Industrial Complex

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, 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.