Latest in Tag: James M. Dorsey Highlight

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Latest in Tag: James M. Dorsey


Pitfalls of Turkish-Chinese relations in a microcosm

By James M. Dorsey Turkish football player Alpaslan Ozturk’s decision to risk fame and wealth by expressing support for the embattled Turkic Uighur minority in Xinjiang reflects pressures in China’s ties to Turkey, its most complex relationship in the Muslim world, and a key node on the Silk Road that Beijing hopes to revive with massive …

Daily News Egypt

Egyptian football player criticises Al-Sisi in reflection of mounting discontent

By James M. Dorsey Criticism this week by football player Ahmed Al-Merghani of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s hard-handed repression of dissent and failure to defeat a mushrooming insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula signals mounting discontent in Egypt. Al-Merghani’s comments on his Facebook page are indicative, because they suggested the degree to which Al-Sisi’s cult-like popularity …

Daily News Egypt

Advisory Council rejects labour reform as Qatar stiffens its back

By James M. Dorsey Revived controversy over the integrity of Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup and persistent criticism of the conditions of migrant labour in the Gulf state appear to have stiffened Qatar’s back as it responds to attacks on multiple fronts, including judicial inquiries in Switzerland and the United States, …

Daily News Egypt

Reforming football governance: Tackling political corruption alongside financial wrongdoing

By James M. Dorsey The mushrooming governance scandal in world football body FIFA increasingly spotlights political, in addition to financial, corruption in global football. Revelations about government and corporate deals made to secure Germany’s hosting of the 2006 World Cup alongside the prominence of political figures in sports governance, frequently aligned with autocratic regimes, emphasises …

Daily News Egypt

Qatar backtracks on engagement with critics

By James M. Dorsey After four years of engagement with its critics in a so-far failed bid to turn its hosting of the World Cup into a successful soft power tool, Qatar appears to have decided that the region’s tendency to intimidate those who don’t fall into line may be a more effective strategy. In doing so, Qatar …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt bans ultras in bid to break anti-government protests

By James M. Dorsey An Egyptian court has banned militant football fan groups or ultras as terrorist organisations in a bid to break the backbone of anti-government protests. The ruling pushes further underground groups that often offer despairing youth a rare opportunity to vent their pent-up anger and frustration peacefully. Ultras have for the past …

Daily News Egypt

AFC’s Salman re-elected amid renewed corruption and governance questions

By James M. Dorsey Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa has been elected president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for a second term and vice president of world football body FIFA amid unanswered questions about the AFC’s handling of corruption investigations and his apparent failure to enforce good governance in his own organisation. In an …

Daily News Egypt

Global football’s backslapping, backstabbing backroom deal-making politics

By James M. Dorsey Presidential elections and tournament hosting in the world of football appear to be seldom won on the merits of a candidate or bidder’s proposition. Instead, the outcome of polls and bids are frequently the result of backslapping, backstabbing backroom politicking between global football managers and political leaders. World football is about …

Daily News Egypt

Israel chides club for racism in bid to fend off FIFA suspension

By James M. Dorsey Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has demanded that notoriously racist club, Beitar Jerusalem, the bad boy of Israeli football, retract recent statements that it would maintain its policy of not hiring Palestinian players because of opposition by the team’s militant, racist fan base. The demand comes as Israel is fighting …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt moves closer to labelling football fans as terrorists

By James M. Dorsey Egypt has moved closer to banning as terrorist organisations militant football groups that form the backbone of opposition to autocratic rule, with the arrest and pre-trial detention of five alleged members of the Ultras White Knights (UWK), the highly-politicised, street battle-hardened support group of storied Cairo club Zamalek SC. The five …

Daily News Egypt

Gulf alliances: Regional states hedge their bets

By James M. Dorsey The current Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, designed to prevent Iranian-backed forces from gaining power, symbolises the Gulf’s new assertiveness. This is unfolding as the various Gulf states seek to hedge their bets with different strategies that complement rather than replace the regional US security umbrella. Qatar, this month, signed a military …

Daily News Egypt

Contours of future Israeli-Palestinian battles emerge on the football pitch

By James M. Dorsey Legal and diplomatic battles in United Nations organisations and international sport associations involving charges of war crimes and efforts to suspend membership of one or the other are likely to shape future Israeli-Palestinian relations in the wake of last month’s electoral victory by Benjamin Netanyahu. The contours of the coming battles …

Daily News Egypt

Football riots reflect long-standing discontent in Iran’s predominantly Arab Khuzestan

By James M. Dorsey Long-simmering discontent in Ahwaz, the football-crazy, predominantly ethnic Arab capital of Iran’s Khuzestan province that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein unsuccessfully tried to exploit when he launched the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, exploded on the pitch earlier this month during an Asian championship League qualifier between the city’s state-owned Foolad FC and …

Daily News Egypt

Attempts to ban Egyptian militant football fan group gather momentum

By James M. Dorsey An Egyptian prosecutor has set the stage for the banning of a group of hard-core, militant football fans by charging them with accepting money and explosives from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to stage last month’s Cairo football riot in which 22 people were killed. The Prosecutor General, Hisham Barakat, said the …

Daily News Egypt

International sports associations caught between dollar signs and human rights ideals

By James M. Dorsey A just published study highlights how commerce and glitz are reinforcing support for autocracy by international sports associations, and undermining the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) newly found resolve to hold potential host cities to human rights standards to which world football body FIFA pays. The study by Andrew Zimbalist, Circus Maximus: The Economic …

Daily News Egypt

Football fields: A way station en route to the Islamic State

By James M. Dorsey One thing the biographies of Jihadi John, the Islamic State’s executioner of foreign hostages, and several of his European associates have in common is their passion for football and their dashed hopes of becoming professional players. They all belonged to amateur teams or bonded in part by playing football together. Like …

Daily News Egypt

Egyptian spectator ban: Flashpoint for conflict and statement of weakness

By James M. Dorsey An Egyptian cabinet decision to end the suspension of professional football in late March but reinstitute the ban on spectators attending matches could spark renewed clashes between militant fans and security forces. The decision against the backdrop of mounting evidence that Egyptian general-turned-President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has no apparent intention of easing …

Daily News Egypt

Football racism highlights Europe’s struggle with transition and entrenched racism

By James M. Dorsey Recent football-related racism highlights European nations’ tortured transition from ethnically relatively homogeneous to multicultural immigration societies amid a resurgence of entrenched racial, including anti-Semitic, attitudes that flourish in times of economic crisis and are not limited to Muslim communities. Fans across Europe have lined up on both sides of the racism …

Daily News Egypt

Football deaths renew spotlight on Egypt’s notorious security forces

By James M. Dorsey A stampede at a Cairo stadium earlier this month, much like a politically-loaded football brawl in the Suez Canal city of Port Said three years ago, is shining a spotlight on Egypt’s unreformed, unabashedly violent, and politically powerful police and security forces amid confusion over what precisely happened and how many …

Daily News Egypt

UAE embarks on global campaign to market its brand of autocracy

By James M. Dorsey The United Arab Emirates has embarked on an all-out effort to broaden its regional influence and achieve global acceptance of its autocratic definition of terrorism that encompasses all non-violent, legitimate expressions of political Islam. The effort competes head on with Qatar’s pro-Islamist approach to soft power. It involves participation in the …

Daily News Egypt