Egyptian spectator ban: flashpoint for conflict and statement of weakness

By James M. Dorsey An Egyptian Cabinet decision to end the suspension of professional soccer 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 … [Read more…]

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

By James M. Dorsey Recent soccer-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 … [Read more…]

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 … [Read more…]

Soccer deaths raise stakes for Egypt’s general-turned-president Al Sisi

By James M. Dorsey The death of at least 40 militant, highly politicized, and street battle-hardened Egyptian soccer fans in clashes with security forces raises the stakes for general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s efforts to suppress political dissent. The incident is one of the worst in Egyptian sporting history and the latest in a number … [Read more…]

Fatale Signale aus Karlsruhe

von Boris Haigis Nach der Stadionverbots-Entscheidung aus dem Jahr 2009 (V ZR 253/08) sorgt der Bundesgerichtshof abermals mit einem fragwürdiges Urteil für ein Fortschreiten der Kriminalisierung von Fußballfans. Mit Urteil vom 22.01.2015 (3 StR 233/14) hat der BGH zum einen klargestellt, dass „vereinbarte Massenschlägereien“ unter Hooligans und anderen Fangruppen grundsätzlich und ohne Einschränkung strafbar sind. … [Read more…]

Sports associations step up pressure on human rights violators

By James M. Dorsey International sporting associations have hardened their stance towards wannabe hosts of mega-events, who violate basic rights, including those of women and migrant workers. The hardening stance stands out against the recent backdrop of democratic leaders trekking to Saudi Arabia to pay their respects to newly enthroned King Salman with no mention … [Read more…]

Qatar asks for time to implement labour reforms

By James M. Dorsey Qatari sports executives, in a bid to refute calls for depriving Qatar of its 2022 World Cup hosting rights, have asked their human rights and trade union critics as well as world soccer body FIFA to give them more time to address criticism of the Gulf state’s kafala or sponsorship system … [Read more…]