Egypt appoints controversial UAE hired gun as elections monitor

By James M. Dorsey Egyptian-general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s efforts to lend legitimacy to parliamentary elections scheduled for this spring have gotten off to a murky start with the appointment of a controversial, reportedly United Arab Emirates-backed human rights NGO as one of five foreign election monitors. The appointment of Norway-based Global Network for Rights … [Read more…]

Government and Fans Battle in Court and on the Pitch in Egypt and Turkey (JMD in Research Turkey)

Author: James M. Dorsey, Writer, Journalist, Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies Date: Jan 25, 2015  New Post, Research/Policy Papers Government and Fans Battle in Court and on the Pitch in Egypt and Turkey Introduction Egyptian and Turkish soccer pitches are set to re-emerge as battlegrounds between militant, street battle-hardened fans and … [Read more…]

UK search for Jihadi John spotlights recruitment role of soccer

By James M. Dorsey The United Kingdom’s search for Jihadi John, the masked, British-accented fighter who appears in videos and beheading of foreigners condemned to death by the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq, has highlighted the significance for militants of soccer as a recruitment and bonding tool. … [Read more…]

Turkish soccer body penalizes Kurdish club amid mounting tensions

By James M. Dorsey A Turkish Football Federation (TFF) decision to penalize a third tier soccer club in the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir for adopting a Kurdish name reflects mounting tension in south-eastern Turkey. The tension is fuelled by the realization that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is unlikely to make major concessions before parliamentary … [Read more…]

Turkish soccer: Illiberal President Erdogan’s latest victim

By James M. Dorsey Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s illiberal policies have targeted the media, the judiciary, the police, militant soccer fans, and anti-government protesters. Now they threaten to claim yet another victim: the game of football itself. In a major blow to troubled Turkish soccer, Yildiz Holding, a conservative conglomerate known for its confectionary … [Read more…]