Argentina won the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. For a long time, Latin American and Caribbean (Generally called Latin American) countries have shown a strong presence in football games. To understand Latin America well, it is important to understand the importance of football. The reason for this is that football is a part of the lives of Latinos. Football is the only topic of everyday conversation and has a profound impact on Latino relationships. It is a part of life in Latin America and Latinos show tremendous passion for football. Therefore, let us take a look at the origin, and history of Latin American football and its culture.
A unique playstyle was created with challenges
In 1860s, British sailors introduced modern associated to Latinos. They played kicking balls at the pier and breakwater of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Later, in 1867, British immigrants formed the Buenos Aires Football Club, the first Latin American football club and held a football tournament. The sport has gradually spread to neighboring urban areas.
At that time, football was a European sport enjoyed by the British and wealthy people. However, the Confederation of South American Football Confederations was formed in 1916 and began enjoying football in Latin America. Football aroused the passion of the public, especially teenagers. In particular, people who are struggling in society have begun showing an interest in football. Among them, the appearance of professional clubs has raised the possibility that players who were in the lower classes will gain status, respect, and social recognition. Since then, Latin American football has moved away from the European style of football and developed into their own style, by its splendid control and teamwork, which leads to a shorter pass.
Since then, in the era of mass communication, football has become an object for all citizens to express their passion. As the barriers between the classes collapsed, it became a national sport centered on the interests of clubs and nations. Football in Latin America is closely related to Latin America’s political and economic development. Competition, individualization, classification, economy, inequality, social structure, etc. are sharply intertwined. Brazil’s military government, which took power from 1964 to 1988, used football as a tool in terms of strengthening control and promoting foreign affairs. The people enjoyed freedom through football and national unity was achieved.
Football is the hope of young people and the shortcut to success
Most football players in Brazil were white in the early days. The owner of the club was a wealthy white man, and the manager who led the players was a white man. During the 1921 Copa America World Cup, the president ordered that all the participants should be white people. Then, in the early 1920s, after football clubs including mixed-race players won the league championship, Brazilian football gradually began to open up. In the 1930s, however, the professional league became more active and competition between clubs intensified, requiring the recruitment of talented players. Naturally, competence was prioritized over racial discrimination, and the proportion of black and mixed-race players in the Brazilian football league increased rapidly.
Brazil’s football team, which comprises various races, has been playing well on the world stage, and its status has rapidly increased. With Pele’s appearance, Brazilian football began its glorious history by winning its first World Cup in Sweden. After retiring as an active player, Pele took the post of sports minister and made great efforts to reform Brazilian football. Many famous Brazilian football players come from the poor. Many teenagers in the slums dream of success while enjoying football. 11:11 While football developed in Europe, South American countries developed 5:5 futsal games in narrow alleys and beach football on the beach. South American children learn how to score goals freely by dribbling past their opponents. Such an environment helps improve creativity.
The Latin American football community, including football associations, prestigious clubs in the region, in both business and political circles, is notorious for corruption. Due to poor financial support, infrastructure such as the size of football fields is lagging behind that of European football leagues, however, their love for the national leagues is enormous. In the case of Argentina, there are 12 first-division teams registered in Buenos Aires alone. Additionally, the number of second and third divisions will further increase. In Santiago, Chile, there are seven teams, five in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and three first-division football teams in the capital city of La Paz in Bolivia.
A passion for football sometimes shows an obsession
The enthusiasm of football even caused a war. The Football War was a five-day war between El Salvador and Honduras in July 1969. During the World Cup regional qualifying match, public sentiment between the two countries intensified and violence erupted. This led to an explosion of political conflicts between the two countries, which led to an actual war. The war broke down the economic communities among the five Latin American countries and adversely affected the economy. El Salvador, which broke off diplomatic relations with Honduras, went into chaos by the civil war, which began in 1972. Honduras also experienced political turmoil. The breakup of diplomatic relations between the two countries ended with the signing of a peace treaty in Lima, Peru, in 1980.
Honduras withdrew from the Central American Common Market (CACM) and suspended trade with El Salvador. El Salvador’s industrial sector, which lost the huge Honduran market, was hit hard and the national economy of El Salvador was in danger. Additionally, 300,000 farmers who were expelled from Honduras returned to El Salvador after the war to form the poor, accelerating social chaos. El Salvadorans, who do not own occupations or farmland, were unable to immigrate to Honduras, but it was a heavy burden on El Salvador, which has small farmland and a large population. Additionally, the country suffered a series of terrorist attacks and coups by far-right forces in 1972, and the country suffered a civil war for more than 12 years starting in 1980, leading to the collapse of El Salvador.
Thus, football in Latin America impacts society as a whole, and it is also essential for business in terms of playing a role in social integration. On the day of a football game in Latin America, football becomes a hot topic all day long. When football matches are held, they cheer in front of the stadium or on TV. In Latin America, football is a festival where people can enjoy their thirst freely, there is no gap between the rich and poor on the ground, and there is no racism between black and white people. Therefore, to do business with Latin American countries, it is better to learn about the regional team in advance before the meeting. Doing so will also help in building business relationships. Latin American culture value relationships. In this respect, football will be a good method to open the Latino’s mind.
Kim Ji-woo firstname.lastname@example.org