This is the first book to define and explore the geopolitical economy of sport – the intersection of power, politics, money, and state interests that both exploit and shape elite sport around the world.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the global response, and the consequent ramifications for sport have put the geopolitical economy of sport front and centre in both public debate and academic thinking. Similarly, the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar illustrate the political, economic, and geographic imperatives that shape modern sport. This book brings together studies from around the world to describe this new geopolitical economy of sport, from the way in which countries use natural resource revenues, accusations of sport washing, and the deployment of sport for soft power purposes, to the way in which sport has become a focus for industrial development. This book looks at the geopolitical economy of sport across the globe, from the Gulf States’ interests in European soccer to Israel seeking to build a national competitive advantage by positioning itself as a global sports tech start-up hub, and the United States continuing to extend its economic and cultural influence through geopolitical sport activities in Africa, Latin America, and the Indian subcontinent. This book captures a pivotal moment in the history of sport and sport business.

This is essential reading for any student, researcher, practitioner, or policymaker with an interest in sport business, the politics of sport, geopolitics, soft power, diplomacy, international relations, or international political economy.

chapter 1|6 pages


Towards a Geopolitical Economy of Sport

part I|58 pages

Russia and Ukraine

chapter 5|6 pages

Governance Dysfunction in World Sport

Issues Raised by the Conflict in Ukraine

chapter 6|7 pages

Public Remembering of Sochi 2014 at a Time of War

The Kremlin's Soft Disempowerment through Sport

part II|60 pages


chapter 10|8 pages

The Global Sporting Power Elite

Eileen Gu

chapter 11|8 pages

China's Moves to Influence the Geopolitical Economy of Sports

The Three Axe Strokes

chapter 12|7 pages

Making of (Not Only) a Sports Superpower

The Chinese Dream

chapter 13|8 pages

Chinese Super League

Soft Power, Investment, and Sustainability

chapter 14|9 pages

Doing Sports Business in China

Still a Slam Dunk?

part III|38 pages

The Gulf and South Asia

chapter 15|7 pages

Qatar and the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Soft Power, State Branding, or Nation Building?

chapter 17|7 pages

Sport and Saudi Arabia

Mimetic Isomorphism, Soft Power, and Disempowerment

chapter 18|7 pages

Sport Washing and the Gulf Region

Myth or Reality?

chapter 19|8 pages

Geopolitics of Cricket in India

part IV|20 pages


part V|42 pages


chapter 22|6 pages

The Politics of Alternative Football

Curious Friends

chapter 24|7 pages

The Attempted Reshaping of the Turkish Football Landscape under the AK Party

A Transaction Cost Economics Explanation

chapter 25|7 pages

Football and the City

A Sports Place Branding Perspective of Barcelona and Manchester

part VI|26 pages


chapter 27|8 pages

Sport Governance, Geopolitical Change, and Organizational Resilience

The Case of Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)

chapter 28|7 pages

The Geopolitics of Money Versus Morals

Location, Location, Location of the Formula 1 Race Calendar

chapter 29|9 pages

The End of Oil?

Formula One's Changing Face

part VII|34 pages

Peace, Diplomacy, and Society

chapter 32|6 pages

Sports, Race, and Cosmopolitanism

chapter 33|8 pages

Transgender Sport Bans Come for Elite Sport

Federations' New Attempt to Define Womanhood