Peace: How Football Stopped a Civil War
A study by Emilio Depetris-Chauvin, Ruben Durante, and Filipe Campante presents the following Abstract: “We examine whether shared collective experiences help build a national identity, by looking at the impact of national football teams’ victories in sub-Saharan Africa. We find that individuals surveyed in the days after an important victory of their country’s national team are 37 percent less likely to identify primarily with their ethnic group, and 30 percent more likely to trust other ethnicities, than those interviewed just before. Crucially, national team achievements also reduce violence: countries that (barely) qualified to the Africa Cup of Nations experience less civil conflict (9 percent fewer episodes) in the following months than countries that (barely) did not.”
Sport has the potential to help reduce conflict through processes of nation-building, particularly in high-stakes games. The study says this is not only due to post-win euphoria. Read the analysis by The Economist, read the full study, published by the American Economic Association, and watch a brief video with Drogba’s plea for peace.