The UK Government is set to exploit the likes of the Premier League and the international Test cricket team as part of a new sport approach to diplomacy overseas.
In a recent white paper from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and its new foreign secretary Lord David Cameron, titled “International development in a contested world”, the government set out how it would use sport to “harness the best of UK capability”.
Sport has long been seen as a form of soft power, used to aid in relationships with overseas nations when diplomacy is off the table.
Strengthen UK lengths
“British sports, including cricket and the Premier League, strengthen the UK’s global links and promote development as part of their international work,” the report read.
“Cultural and sports diplomacy provide a vital platform for engagement when other diplomatic avenues are closed.
“These institutions play a powerful and compelling part in UK development and our partnerships around the world.”
The Premier League is a British brand that is exported globally while 16 of the top 30 revenue-generating clubs in the world are English, according to Deloitte’s latest Football Money League report.
Cricket is played mostly in commonwealth countries and former colonies with the recent One-day World Cup and next T20 World Cup spanning India, the West Indies and the United States.
Chair of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport committee, Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, told City A.M. “British sport, art and culture are hugely loved across the world and have a vital role to play in strengthening our ties with other countries and helping the UK achieve its development goals.
“This shows the value of the Government doing all it can to promote Britain and all it has to offer on the global stage.”