In Latin American academic literature, little has been developed about the potential of cultural goods for economic and/or political purposes. From that point on, the article “Soft power, football and culture in the Argentina-Bangladesh bilateral relationship: Opportunities and challenges for a strategic link”, available in the Latin American Journal of Asian Studies, investigates how, from an event like the World Cup, football where Argentina was crowned champion can be a catalyst for bilateral cooperation between States of the Global South, such as Bangladesh and Argentina.

Football as an instrument of Soft Power

What have been the effects of the consecration of the Argentine soccer team as champions of the last World Cup held in Qatar? As analyzed previously, soft power can be understood as means to generate influence in terms of culture, public diplomacy, values, credibility or ideology, among others. With that in consideration, it can be seen that Argentina as a small State can use one of its cultural resources, such as soccer, as a variable to obtain greater benefits abroad.

Along these lines, the celebrations that were generated in Bangladesh with the Argentine World Cup have a history behind them that dates back to the goals scored by Maradona against England in the 1986 World Cup. In this sense, the congratulations delivered by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh , Sheikh Hasina, to the Argentine people through a letter to the former president Alberto Fernández are framed in the shared passion of both peoples for the South American National Team. This case exemplifies how football can be a valuable soft power tool, uniting people through cultural identification and exchange.

Factions and agenda-setting in the G20 (2008-2019): Assessment of Pre-Pandemic Dynamics

Bilateral relations between Argentina and Bangladesh

Although there was already an initiative to reopen the Argentine Embassy in Bangladesh, after this milestone it was finalized. In addition, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to simplify the entry of Argentine products into Bangladesh strengthened bilateral cooperation between both States.

In this way, with football as a cultural asset, a favorable opportunity is seen to promote collaboration between countries, through the exchange of knowledge on player training, youth development programs and sports management, among other elements.

Likewise, it is presented as an opportunity to diversify the export basket from Argentina to Bangladesh, which currently focuses on a few products. Now, there are certain challenges such as the language barrier, geographical separation and lack of familiarity with Asia.

China’s regional rise during the 21st century: a shift towards soft power in East and Southeast Asia

The Chinese case as an example to follow

China has a medium and long-term development plan for Chinese football, as it believes that becoming a football power would contribute to the development of the economy, society and culture. As a result of the above, in the context of his strategy he contacted Argentine coaches so that they could go and teach improvements in their soccer training.

We invite you to read the full article to deepen the analysis of how Argentina could use football as an instrument of soft power to enhance its relations with other countries in the Global South.



Master in International Relations and Negotiations (UdeSa of Argentina) and in Economic Development (BNU), after having obtained a scholarship from the Chinese government. Association of Argentine-China Former Scholars (ADEBAC) and Argentina-China Studies Center (CEACh)

Graduated in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), she continued her studies at the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) completing the Contemporary China Executive Program. Argentina-China Studies Center (CEACh).

Graduated in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and recently completed the Specialization in Contemporary China Studies at the National University of Lanús (UNLA). Argentina-China Studies Center (CEACh).


Leave a Reply