World Cup Soccer: U-M experts can discuss


June 8, 2018
Contact: Mandira Banerjee

The 21st FIFA World Cup starts June 14 in Russia, culminating with the finals July 15 at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. University of Michigan experts are available to comment.


Andrei Markovits, the Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies, co-wrote the books “Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism,” “Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture” and “SPORTISTA: Female Fandom in the United States.” He has written many scholarly articles on various aspects of sports and their cultures.

“I expect the final four teams to come from Europe as Latin American teams have never done well in Europe, only succeeding once to win the tournament when Brazil won in Sweden in 1958. I expect the final four teams to be Spain, Germany, Belgium and France,” he said.

“I also do not see any effect of the World Cup on the already abysmal U.S.-Russian relations. Of course, a very successful tournament and, especially, an unexpectedly successful showing by the Russian team will be an amazing further boost to the ascending image of Vladimir Putin.”

Contact: 734-213-2226,


Melvyn Levitsky is a professor of international policy and practice at the Ford School of Public Policy. A retired U.S. ambassador, Levitsky has served as officer-in-charge of U.S.-Soviet bilateral relations and as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. He can comment on U.S.-Russia relations.

Contact: 734-615-4262,


Stefan Szymanski is the Stephen J. Galetti Collegiate Professor of Sport Management and co-director of the Michigan Center for Sport Management. He has studied the business and economics of sports for more than 20 years and can discuss the economic impact and legacy of the games.

Contact: 734-647-0950,


Scott Campbell, the Constance F. and Arnold C. Pohs Professor of Telecommunications, can discuss the uses and impact of mobile and social media in the world cup.

Contact: 734-764-1300,


Puneet Manchanda is the Isadore and Leon Winkelman Professor of Marketing at the Ross School of Business. His areas of expertise include business in emerging markets, strategy and marketing issues.

Contact: 734-936-2445,