Israel mobilizes to deprive Qatar of the World Cup

By James M. Dorsey One group has been conspicuously absent in the battle for greater transparency of global soccer governance symbolized by multiple corruption scandals and match-fixing: football fans, a key stakeholder with a vested interest in demanding a thorough cleansing of the management of the sport. That however may be changing as Israel appears … [Read more…]

IOC president's call for transparency challenges Middle Eastern/Asian political dominance of soccer

By James M. Dorsey Taken at face value, a rare acknowledgment by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach that sports and politics are inextricably intertwined should be a first step towards radical reform that offers a proper structure to govern the relationship. That is nowhere truer than in Middle Eastern, North African and Asian soccer … [Read more…]

Women´s right to attend sports events at centre of Iran´s culture wars

By James M. Dorsey A British-Iranian woman imprisoned In Tehran for attempting to watch a men’s volleyball match is at the centre of Iran’s cultural wars that constitute the backdrop to efforts to resolve problems with Iran’s nuclear program and a struggle between reformists and conservatives in advance of parliamentary elections 18 months from now. … [Read more…]

Fighting the Islamic State: What about the day after?

By James M. Dorsey The beheading of a second American journalist and the likely execution of a British national have left  US President Barak Obama and other Western leaders few options but to step up military operations against Islamist jihadists in Iraq and expand the battle into Syria. The focus on confronting the militant jihadists … [Read more…]