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

By James M. Dorsey Legal and diplomatic battles in United Nations organizations 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 Binyamin Netanyahu. The contours of the coming battles … [Read more…]

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

By James M. Dorsey Long-simmering discontent in Ahwaz, the soccer-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 … [Read more…]

How Qatar is its own worst enemy

By James M. Dorsey This is the Accepted Manuscript of this article that was published by Taylor Francis Group in The International Journal of the History of Sport,  DOI:10.1080/09523367.2015.1008212 Qatar is proving to be its own worst enemy in achieving its soft power goals of embedding itself in the international community as a good citizen despite … [Read more…]

International sports associations caught between $ 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 soccer body FIFA pays lip service. The study by Andrew Zimbalist, … [Read more…]