The oil-rich nation-states of the Arabian Peninsula are investing large sums in the development of an international sports industry for the region. In an effort to field its own national sports teams for this industry, Qatar, who will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has relied upon the practice of naturalizing foreign athletes. It is not a new practice, but Qatar’s wholesale use of the practice amounts to annexing its national sports teams and seems to miss the point of a national team. Certainly, the practice raises questions about the nature of a distinctively national sports team. As I take up some of these questions, my discussion leads to the larger question of international sport as a conversation on the differentiation of national identities. The practice of annexing national sports teams, therefore, raises questions both about nationalism and internationalism.
- Arabian Peninsula
- international sport
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation