Soccer is Politics

Soccer is Politics (JMD in The American Interest) JAMES M. DORSEY   Why Egypt’s repressive regime considers soccer fans one of its biggest threats. A hmed (not his real name) is an Egyptian soccer fan —and a fugitive. He has been expelled from university, convicted twice in absentia, and sentenced to two long terms in … [Read more…]

Bahraini players’ support for Salman raise more questions than answers

By James M Dorsey Bahraini soccer players have sought in recent statements to absolve Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president and world soccer body FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, a member of the Gulf island’s ruling family, of any moral or direct responsibility for the arrest, dismissal and abuse of hundreds of … [Read more…]

Embattled World Cup host Qatar sends mixed messages

By James M. Dorsey Embattled World Cup host Qatar is sending contradictory messages as it struggles with demands to improve migrant labour conditions and mounting questions about the integrity of its successful FIFA bid, confronts the fall-out of dropping energy prices, and seeks to project itself as both a key Western ally and a useful … [Read more…]

UAE chairman of Manchester City pressures UK to crack down on Muslim Brothers

By James M. Dorsey Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, chairman of Manchester City, one of Britain’s most popular soccer clubs and a close business associate of UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has warned the UK that his country would block multi-billion dollar arms deals, halt investment in Britain and suspend intelligence cooperation if … [Read more…]

New Qatari labour law: too little, too late

By James M. Dorsey Never missing an opportunity to shoot itself in the foot, 2022 World Cup-host Qatar has adopted a new law that is more likely to convince critics that it aims to put a friendly face on its controversial kafala or sponsorship system rather than radically reform a legal framework that trade unions … [Read more…]