Can FIFA's Blatter prevent Israel's suspension from international soccer?

by James M. Dorsey   @mideastsoccer Winning a fifth term in office will be a cakewalk for FIFA’s oft-criticized president Sepp Blatter, when measured against the challenges posed to him by the looming Israeli-Palestinian showdown in world soccer’s governing body. Blatter is expected to travel to the Middle East ahead of FIFA’s May 29 congress, hoping to forge a … [Read more…]

Ethnic tensions spill onto Iranian soccer pitches

By James M. Dorsey Against a backdrop of the violent redrawing of the map of the Middle East as minorities assert their rights, rebels challenge the existing order, and militant Islamists seek to carve up the post-colonial order, Iranian soccer pitches are signalling that the Islamic republic is not totally immune to the region’s upheaval. … [Read more…]

Aboutreika: Bridging Egyptian polarization or signalling a shift in attitudes?

By James M. Dorsey Few are able to bridge Egypt’s deeply polarizing divide between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood following the 2013 military coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi. Mohammed Aboutreika, Egypt’s most celebrated and storied soccer player, is proving to be either the exception that proves the rule or an indication of … [Read more…]