Since his time with PSG, David Beckham has developped an intimate relationship with the Qataris, and rumor is that they are ready to invest in the new MLS franchise. To what extent?
As reported by popular sport talk Ornstein, Inter Miami CF is getting closer to a sponsoring deal with Qatar Sports Investments. The expression “soft power” was thought and described by the international relations theorist Joseph Ney in 1990 to designate the power of influence of an entity over another. It is this extremely advanced soft power policy that Qatar has developed over the past thirty years.
A strategy first centered on the English-speaking media in the 1990s and then focused on France and the French-speaking countries from the 2000s. The micro-state, which is less than 12,000 square kilometers but has 15% of the world’s gas reserves , has invested in major groups, media such as Lagardère, luxury hotels and real estate, but has also invested massively in sport with Paris-Saint-Germain as their flagship .
Insistent rumors of an Inter Miami CF partnership with Qatar
Qatar is devoting considerable resources to this policy and is of course playing on full synergies with its television activism, which involves the purchase of broadcasting rights for major sports competitions. Al-Jazeera Sport, which became BeIN Sports in 2012, is in charge of it and has been very active in Europe, a bit less in North America and Asia for several years.
It is the trademark of this sports diplomacy that has become the main instrument of soft power in the country. Often with investments at a loss: BeIN Sports had to be recapitalized in 2017 to the tune of 600 million euros after previous contributions of 800 million. And despite the commercial success of the channel package, its business model seems difficult to sustain.
Same for the World Cup organized in three years: 130 billion euros of investments announced including 35 billion for the railway and metro system alone. Massive investments in sports and Football in particular.
Unable to exercise hard power based on a large territory, a large population or a real economy, Qatari leadership has succeeded in matters of influence and has been able to place its country on the map of world sport and diplomacy. Despite criticism, the next World Cup will be the highlight of this influence through sport. Would the fans be happy about a financial partnership with Inter Miami CF ?