Saudi Arabia Versus Iran on the Football Pitch

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by James M. Dorsey Saudi Arabia’s bitter rivalry with Iran has spilled onto Asian soccer pitches with the newly created South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF) reflecting the kingdom’s bid for regional hegemony, including domination of soccer. Saudi Arabia’s most recent victory… Continue Reading  

The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of the Politics of Middle Eastern Soccer

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by James M. Dorsey Edited remarks at The Beautiful Game? Identity, Resentment, and Discrimination in Football and Fan Cultures conference, Center for Research on Antisemitism, Berlin, 12-13 April 2018 The virtually continuous role of soccer as a key player in… Continue Reading  

Activists and Gulf Crisis Turn Qatar into Potential Model of Social Change

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by James M. Dorsey Potential Qatari moves to become the first Gulf state to effectively abolish the region’s onerous kafala or labor sponsorship system, denounced as a form of modern slavery, could produce a rare World Cup that leaves a… Continue Reading  

Gulf Crisis Ties Global Soccer Governance into Knots

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by James M. Dorsey International soccer governance is tying itself up in knots with football associations grappling with the fallout of the Gulf dispute between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Qatar that lays bare the contradictions embedded in their… Continue Reading  

Will FIFA Give Israeli Settlement Clubs a Yellow Card?

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by Hugh Lovatt and Martin Konecny On Thursday, May 11, FIFA holds its 67th annual congress in Bahrain’s capital Manama, bringing together its 211 member state associations. As FIFA’s legislative body, the congress is due to address a number of… Continue Reading