Of all the lies that politicians and officials feed us, few are more pernicious than that old chestnut: Politics and sport do not mix. They must be kept separate.
Anyone who watched the World Cup match between Iran and England could not have failed to see that this is nonsense: Sport can always help make for better politics. The Iranian team pointedly refused to sing the national anthem as a gesture of protest against the repression being unleashed in their country. A large Iranian crowd inside the stadium booed while the anthem was played. Some spectators held up placards reading: “Woman,
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