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Mediating mega events and manufacturing multiculturalism: The cultural politics of the world game in Australia.

Contemporary global politics is characterized by intense debate about the status of multiculturalism. Framed within discourses of crime, counter-terrorism and moral decline, multiculturalism has been declared redundant just as the Australian government has rehabilitated the term in local citizenship legislation and policy making. Tensions between the local and the global are complex and multifaceted, taking place beyond the formal political arena, with the multicultural image of international mega events, such as the FIFA World Cup, conflicting with local representations of association football in Australia. Our case study of FIFA’s Sydney Live Site (in 2010) investigates latent tensions involving the representation of national interests at mediated local events with global implications. Ambivalence towards multiculturalism in sport is symptomatic, we argue, of a wider conflictual politics of national identity and fealty, with football (soccer) in Australia operating as a specific site where anxieties about multiculturalism are publicly expressed and new forms of governmentality ‘trialled’.