Stories

Diversity is soccer's new normal

Players of France's soccer team.
Players for France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Photo: Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

"At a time when populist politicians are trying to choke off or reroute migration flows, what matters to fans of the [all-European teams in the World Cup] semifinals — England, France, Belgium [eliminated] and Croatia — wasn't the players' ancestry but that they excelled," AP's Angela Charlton writes from Paris.

Why it matters: "Europe owes its sporting power ... to a long-running outreach into poor suburbs or neighborhoods, giving kids of all backgrounds access to coaches and fields and facilities — and teams more talent to choose from."