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…]

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…]

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…]