Alleged AFC cover-up effort highlights Asian soccer’s lack of proper governance

By James M. Dorsey A senior executive of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) allegedly requested in 2012 at least one of his subordinates to tamper with or hide documents related to enquiries by independent auditors and FIFA into management of the group by Mohammed Bin Hammam, the AFC’s ousted president and vice president of the … [Read more…]

Global Soccer’s Backslapping, Backstabbing Backroom Deal-making Politics

By James M. Dorsey Presidential elections and tournament hosting in the world of soccer 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 soccer managers and political leaders. World soccer is about … [Read more…]

Questions about Qatar’s World Cup hosting get renewed boost

By James M. Dorsey A planned anti-Qatari protest ahead of a match between Chelsea and Manchester United, the first major fan demonstration against the 2022 World Cup host, and the imminent publication of a Sunday Times book documenting Qatari political interference in world soccer body FIFA’s 2011 presidential election that returned Sepp Blatter to office … [Read more…]

Egypt moves closer to labelling soccer fans as terrorists

By James M. Dorsey Egypt has moved closer to banning as terrorist organizations militant soccer 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-politicized, street battle-hardened support group of storied Cairo club Al Zamalek SC. The … [Read more…]

Militant soccer fans: Egypt’s Hans Brink plugs the dam against radicalization

Said Moshagheb, a mesmerizingly charismatic, under‐educated and unemployed leader of a prominent group of militant, well-organized, and street battle-hardened soccer fans, staged a coup five years ago against the founders and original leaders of the Ultras White Knights (UWK), the storied support group of Zamalek SC, one of Egypt’s most celebrated clubs. The impact of … [Read more…]

ILO victory boosts Qatari hopes of defeating efforts to deprive it of World Cup

By James M. Dorsey A resolution by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to postpone until November a decision to investigate Qatar on charges of violating the Forced Labour and Labour Inspection Conventions is likely to boost the Gulf state’s ability to defeat any attempt to strip it of the right to host the 2022 World … [Read more…]

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 … [Read more…]