In 2008, the Olympic Games were held in the state-capitalist dictatorship of China. It was a huge propaganda show, not only for the Chinese leaders but also for their capitalist class. Today in 2016, they are held in Brazil one of the most unequal nations of Latin America. Like China, the working class and poor are put aside while big business promotes the games. The International Olympic Committee that selects the games are unelected and deeply capitalistic. They command huge financial resources and are feted by governments and business leaders across the planet!
2,5 billion American dollars were collected in broadcasting the 2008 games. The IOC is demanding huge cash to be paid, before television is allowed to broadcast anything. In 1948, the BBC paid only 3.000 dollars to broadcast the London Olympic Games. Today however, capitalist greed and sport go hand in hand. The former big boss of the IOC; Juan Antonio Samaranch insisted on being addressed as ”Your Excellency”. His megalomania earned him the nickname ”Lord of the Rings”
Another 3 billion American dollars were collected from sponsors, bringing the total income of the 2008 games close to five billion dollars. The corporate takover of the Olympic Games started in fact under Samaranch after he became boss of the IOC in 1980. He would stay in this position for almost 21 years until 2001. Four years after Samaranch became leader, the first commercialized games started in Los Angeles. Now the price to broadcast the event rose sharply with each games. The among of money paid in 2008 is almost ten times the costs of 1984!
With the rise in commercialism of the games, corruption in the IOC became common. Few people in the world believe that the organisation is ”’honest”. In 1999 a major scandal reviled that leading IOC members took bribes from capitalist corporations. Ten of these members were expelled following the revelations, but Samaranch was able to stay at the top. Many demanded that the big boss reformed the organisation, but unsurprisingly the IOC remains a deeply capitalistic group. During the voting process of selecting the city for the 2008 games in 2006, it was relieved that the Japanese city of Nagano had spend 4.4 million to entertain IOC members during the bidding process!
The Chinese government, the International Olympic Committee and their business partners have a few things in common. They are corrupt, undemocratic, deeply elitist, capitalistic, greedy and love to show off. Some western leaders believed that by granting China the 2008 summer games, there would be a move towards democratization. These fools do not understand that the IOC is not a democratic organisation and does not care that the Chinese state-capitalist regime, destroyed hundreds of houses and displaced thousands of workers and their families. Back in 1936, one American IOC member was expelled from the organisation after he protested against the summer games in Nazi Germany!
A common therm is that politics have no place in sports. This is how the IOC has shielded itself from political criticism. They claim to be apolitical which is another big lie. Because big capitalist enterprises like Coca Cola wanted the 2008 games to be held in China. They saw potential of selling their products to a market of 1,3 billion people. In the same year, the People’s Republic of China joined the neoliberal: World Trade Organisation. This capitalist group promotes deregulation of markets, privatizations of state assents and markets based politics. In the last eight years since joining, China has carried out many capitalist reforms which pleased the WTO. At the same time the communist party enforced a nationalist campaign which can only be called ”nationalism on steroids”. 200.000 Chinese were rallied to glorify the nation. They waved with flags and praised the party leaders for bringing China back into the world!
Now in 2016 the Olympic Games are still a battleground, not for sportspeople but for multinationals who fight over sponsorship. The IOC has a tradition of racism, anticommunism and support for authoritarian regimes stretching back to its origins. That the Chinese regime embraced this organisation proofs that the Communist Party of China has not only fully abandoned revolutionary socialism, it also supports world organisations who work for the ruling class. Groups like the IOC are not apolitical or neutral, they are tools of greedy people like Juan Antonio Samaranch, who was also a fascist and supporter of Franco, the Spanish dictator who murdered 200.000 antifascists in 1939!
In Brazil, the working class is suffering as their capitalist government is in crisis. President Dilma Rousseff has been suspended from the presidency as she is under investigation for corruption. Michel Temer is now acting president and he is not a (moderate) leftist like Rousseff. The right-wing in Brazil is on the offensive with the intention of removing Dilma Rousseff from power by a silent coup. Many Brazilians have turned against the president after allegations of corruption. It is true that Dilma Rousseff is a right-wing member of the Workers Party. However the attempts to remove her has resulted in the fact that a conservative politician, has now been put in charge of the presidency. Michel Temer is also facing charges of corruption and impeachment. Both he and Rousseff are part of the same problem. Both are capitalist politicians who only serves one class, the capitalist class!
Major sport organisations like the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the International Olympic Committee are not transparent or democratic. FIFA’s former boss Joseph S. (Sepp) Blatter was just as controversial as Juan Antonio Samaranch. Blatter is not only a wealthy person, he is also corrupt and greedy. The FIFA board removed him for 90 days due to corruption allegations in 2015. In May of this year, the news came out that Blatter and two other FIFA leaders enriched themselves with 72 million euros (81 million dollars). Because of this scandal, Sepp Blatter and UEFA president; Michel Platini were banned from football administration for six years!
Revolutionary socialists call for sport events win-out capitalist influence. We want sports to be free from commercialism and corruption. Therefore the organisations of sport like FIFA and IOC are to be democratic and transparent. Their members should be paid only a average workers salary and be re-callable if they screw up. Many workers of the world have little trust in the board of directors of FIFA and IOC, understandable. It came to no surprise that Blatter was a corrupt man who enriched himself. We all know that these unelected directors cannot be trusted!