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Paige Fusco

Graphic Truth: 2024 Euro Cup of Approval

The Euro Cup kicked off on June 14 and is now down to the final eight, with the beautiful game having seen its fair share of victories and upsets in recent weeks. At the same time, battles have been waged on the political stage, with the far right surging first in European Parliament elections and then in the first round in France this past weekend.

All this talk of soccer and politics made us wonder … how well would these countries compete if the matches were decided based on national leader approval ratings?

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Courtesy of Midjourney

Here’s why I can’t watch soccer like a normal person

Politics and history have a way of intruding on – even ruining – everything for me, and these days, it’s soccer’s turn.

Right now, most of the Western Hemisphere is engrossed in two major soccer tournaments. In Europe, it’s the Euros, where the Old Countries are battling it out. In the Americas, it’s the Copa América, where the New Ones are.

All told, the countries participating in the two tournaments are home to more than a billion people. So, it’s a big deal – basically two half-filled World Cups at once.

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Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group C - Serbia v England - Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany - June 16, 2024 Serbia fans inside the stadium before the match

REUTERS/John Sibley

The beautiful game can sometimes be ugly

The European Championship, aka the Euros, has been underway for just one week, but it’s already turning political. Serbia wants UEFA, soccer’s European governing body, to whip out a red card for Croatia and Albania over allegations their fans shouted anti-Serbian slurs during a match on Wednesday.

“Kill, kill, kill the Serb,” the fans allegedly chanted. It’s fair to say that Serbia felt this was extremely offside — and the country is threatening to quit the competition if action isn’t taken.

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