A website launched today aims to help football fans decide which team to cheer for in the Brazil 2014 World Cup, based on countries’ impact on climate change, military spending, and efforts to tackle poverty and inequality.

The site ‘Who should I cheer for?’ (www.whoshouldicheerfor.com), launched by global justice campaign group the World Development Movement, compares the 32 countries competing in Brazil 2014  in terms of human development score, spending on armaments and military personnel, numbers of women in government, carbon dioxide emissions and financial secrecy.

The site ranks Costa Rica, which has zero military spending and 39 per cent women in government, as top of the table overall, followed by Spain, Mexico and Argentina. Iran, with only 3 per cent women in government, ranks bottom. England ranks number 20, while the USA, at number 29, comes close to bottom due to its high carbon emissions and heavy spending on weapons.

Football (PD)The site will also feature a daily comparison of teams competing in each 2014 World Cup match. England’s first opponent, Italy, ranks at number 8, with lower military expenditure than England, more women in government, better financial transparency and lower carbon emissions.

Ralph Allen, a campaigner at the World Development Movement, said today: “Lots of football fans will be watching every single World Cup game, and we tend to side with one team or another for fairly arbitrary reasons. ‘Who should I cheer for?’ is a light-hearted way of informing which team people support, and engaging them with social justice issues through football.”

The World Development Movement is now known as Global Justice Now (www. globaljustice.or.uk).

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