Israeli soccer violence moves racism up the government’s agenda

By James M. Dorsey A violent display of racism by extreme nationalist supporters of storied Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem coupled with recent Ethiopian Israeli protests against discrimination and the government’s handling of the capture of two Israelis by Hamas has moved racist attitudes towards dark-skinned Jews and Israeli Palestinian up the government’s agenda. Driving … [Read more…]

Fan opposition to Qatar goes viral

By James M. Dorsey World Cup host Qatar is discovering the reputational risk involved in hosting high-profile mega sporting events. Qatar Airways’ sponsorship of FC Barcelona is producing exactly the kind of publicity that is a corporate sponsor’s worst nightmare while a Swiss investigation of the Qatari World Cup bid threatens to expose questionable financial … [Read more…]

Departure of AFC general secretary: Business as usual in a swamp of corruption allegations

By James M. Dorsey Transparency appears nowhere on the radar of Asian soccer governors as global soccer reels from the worst crisis in the sport’s history. That was evident in a terse statement issued by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announcing the resignation of its suspended general secretary, Dato Alex Soosay. The statement made no … [Read more…]

Middle East and North Africa: Forcing China to Revisit Long-standing Policies

Synopsis The fractious Middle East and North Africa is compelling China to rethink its long-standing principle of non-interventionism to protect its economic interests. It is also prompting it to articulate a Middle East policy that serves China’s interests without putting it at loggerheads with the United States. Commentary A SCAN of white papers on multiple … [Read more…]