Popular events such as Olympics or world cup can be helpful in easing international tensions by promoting healthy competition, but it can still be influenced by the present relation between countries.
Popular sports event such as cricket world cup in Pakistan promotes healthy activity not just for the participants but also for the citizens of the country. The time period during which cricket world cup is played the minds of the people are diverted towards watching cricket matches and a smaller number of people participates in riots and other patriotic gatherings. Even though Pakistan and India do not have good relations, players during matches are found to be shaking hands with each other. Moreover, most of the journalists on news channel debate about the cricket matches rather highlighting the negative aspects of neighboring countries. Furthermore, the host country also spends more resources and time in developing the area surrounding stadiums in order to attract tourist, while cutting back time and resources on international rivalry.
Nonetheless, international tensions can adversely impact the sports event as well. Talking about the cricket matches between Pakistan and India more aggression is visible not only among players but also among views. For instance, it is common to see arguments and exchange of harsh words between players during matches. Moreover, viewers are also seen throwing things towards players in the fields, including soft drink bottles. Hence, popular events including cricket world cup is not an effective measure to ease the international tensions that exist, and it can also exaggerate the problems if occurred during those matches
Thus, I believe popular events can divert people from patriotic emotions but diverting players from international tensions is difficult and requires proper training.