Panels & Workshops

Sports & Dictators: Weaponizing Sports for Soft Power

June 5, 2024

This panel will explore the evolution of sports as a tool for statecraft within authoritarian regimes. Panelists will reflect on the various ways autocrats weaponize sports, drawing from examples in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Rwanda, among others. Panelists will also discuss the shortcomings of terms such as “sportswashing” and how activists can better confront this concerning trend.


Stanis Elsborg

Senior analyst, Play the Game

Friba Rezayee

Founder, Women Leaders of Tomorrow

Michela Wrong


Pete Pattisson

Investigative human rights journalist

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