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The World Cup Syndrome

The world’s most-watched sporting event inspires passionate, emotional responses like no other. It can save football fans’ lives or drive them to suicide, boost and sink stock markets and economic activity, and cause investors to behave irrationally, especially if their team loses.

LONDON – As the world’s most popular sport, football (“soccer” to Americans) is often a pillar of national identity and a source of collective pride. That is why the FIFA World Cup can trigger intense emotions in a way that no other sporting mega-event can. This year’s tournament in Qatar is no different.