Sport provides a tool for governments to preserve and reinforce their international cohesion and retain their international prestige, and that is the main reason why the majority of states consider their participation in the Olympic Games mandatory, using the latter as an opportunity to enhance their economic and cultural images and to deliver political messages (Jaffe and Nebenzahl, 2006, p.68). Sport as well reflects trends occurring in ideological politics (Jaffe and Nebenzahl, 2006, p.71). As vividly explained by Jaffe and Nebenzahl (2006), during 1924 Olympic Games US rugby football team experienced significant aggression, which illustrated the German propaganda, impact of international politics on public opinion and the reversing side of sport events as diplomatic tool, a counter-diplomatic in this particular case (Jaffe and Nebenzahl, 2006, p.71).
Furthermore, sport constitutes a mirror for international conflicts, relations, dilemmas and solutions, since one has only to take a look on the images and representations from big international competitions like The Football World Cup or the Olympic Games to identify depending on the historical period a certain national pride (the United States during most of the Olympic Games) or national malaise (Iraq Olympic Team in the last two Olympic Games). This particular paper aims to examine different situations on how sport is used as a part of political diplomatic strategy and how communicative tactics are utilized to enhance application of sports as a diplomatic and political tool. The first part of the paper discusses the role and scope of sport diplomacy, and communication and ethical dimensions of sport diplomacy. Simultaneously, the second part examines the origin of sport...
From the theoretical perspective, sport diplomacy is defined as the utilization of sport to pursue political objectives (Senn, 1999, p.35). The scope of sport diplomacy ultimately depends on what political objectives should be met, therefore, sport diplomacy can be used as a tool of state internal affairs or a method aimed to enhance or worsen diplomatic relations between countries. Analyzing the application of sport as a diplomatic tool, it is necessary to emphasize that for many nations sports have served as a form of national identity. Successes by individuals have become symbolic of the nation (Ilmarinen, 1984, p.9). It seems that international sporting activities have been especially important when nations were either struggling for independence or consolidation (Lowe et al, 1978, p.51). As an example of the national importance of sport achievements, one can refer to the medals received by the South Korean athletes in the Seoul Olympics (Guttman, 1992, p.43). Their medals were regarded as valuable and signified national prestige in the country, which during that period was trying to improve its international and economic status.
One might rationalize that sport diplomacy plays an important role in enhancing the social mobility of underdeveloped countries in the international arena. It would seem that the nationalistic character of sport diplomacy has become even more important to developed nations. The historical facts which identify the close relationship between sport diplomacy and political ideology are abundant