The Fallacy of Soccer’s Magical Bridge-Building Qualities

by James M. Dorsey Imagining himself as a peacemaker in a conflict-ridden part of the world, FIFA President Gianni Infantino sees a 2022 World Cup shared by Qatar with its Gulf detractors, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as… Continue Reading  

What Next for Qatar’s World Cup in 2022?

by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen As soccer’s governing body gathers in Miami on March 14-15, the vexed question of whether to bring forward the expansion of the FIFA World Cup, currently scheduled for the 2026 tournament in North America, to Qatar… Continue Reading  

Gulf Rivalries Spill onto the Soccer Pitch

by James M. Dorsey With the 2018 World Cup in Russia behind it, the soccer world’s focus shifts to the 2022 tournament in Qatar. Politics and the Gulf’s internecine political and legal battles have already shaped debate about FIFA’s controversial… Continue Reading  

It’s Raining Iranian Men, Hallelujah

by Shervin Malekzadeh The World Cup ended for the Iranian national team last week but not before the rest of the world took note of its physical prowess off the field. Images of the team went viral after a suggestive… Continue Reading  

Saudi Arabia Versus Iran on the Football Pitch

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