Soccer pitches: An emerging battleground for control of Iraq

By James M. Dorsey Iraqi soccer pitches have emerged as an alternative battleground in the struggle for control of Iraq between the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls chunks of northern Iraq, and embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Iraqi officials said the broadcasting last Sunday in Baghdad’s Al-Shaab International Stadium of the World Cup … [Read more…]

In death, soccer fan-turned soldier embodies Israeli-Palestinian gap

By James M. Dorsey In death, Staff Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli, a 21-year old soccer fan, embodies the deep fears, distrust and dehumanization of the other that has exploded into massive bloodshed in Gaza, threatens to spark another uprising on the West Bank and makes achievement of even a temporary Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire an almost impossible … [Read more…]