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Reforming football governance: Tackling political corruption alongside financial wrongdoing

By James M. Dorsey The mushrooming governance scandal in world football body FIFA increasingly spotlights political, in addition to financial, corruption in global football. Revelations about government and corporate deals made to secure Germany’s hosting of the 2006 World Cup alongside the prominence of political figures in sports governance, frequently aligned with autocratic regimes, emphasises …

Daily News Egypt

Global football’s backslapping, backstabbing backroom deal-making politics

By James M. Dorsey Presidential elections and tournament hosting in the world of football 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 football managers and political leaders. World football is about …

Daily News Egypt

Israel chides club for racism in bid to fend off FIFA suspension

By James M. Dorsey Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has demanded that notoriously racist club, Beitar Jerusalem, the bad boy of Israeli football, retract recent statements that it would maintain its policy of not hiring Palestinian players because of opposition by the team’s militant, racist fan base. The demand comes as Israel is fighting …

Daily News Egypt

Contours of future Israeli-Palestinian battles emerge on the football pitch

By James M. Dorsey Legal and diplomatic battles in United Nations organisations and international sport associations involving charges of war crimes and efforts to suspend membership of one or the other are likely to shape future Israeli-Palestinian relations in the wake of last month’s electoral victory by Benjamin Netanyahu. The contours of the coming battles …

Daily News Egypt

Notes from America: Three shots of tee

By Ahmed Tharwat In sports, as in life, as you grow older, the game gets slower and the ball gets smaller (pun intended). For me, I moved from playing football to tennis, and now to the game of golf. As a kid growing up in Egypt, I had never had the chance to play this elusive …

Daily News Egypt

Football riots reflect long-standing discontent in Iran’s predominantly Arab Khuzestan

By James M. Dorsey Long-simmering discontent in Ahwaz, the football-crazy, predominantly ethnic Arab capital of Iran’s Khuzestan province that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein unsuccessfully tried to exploit when he launched the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, exploded on the pitch earlier this month during an Asian championship League qualifier between the city’s state-owned Foolad FC and …

Daily News Egypt

Attempts to ban Egyptian militant football fan group gather momentum

By James M. Dorsey An Egyptian prosecutor has set the stage for the banning of a group of hard-core, militant football fans by charging them with accepting money and explosives from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to stage last month’s Cairo football riot in which 22 people were killed. The Prosecutor General, Hisham Barakat, said the …

Daily News Egypt

Football fields: A way station en route to the Islamic State

By James M. Dorsey One thing the biographies of Jihadi John, the Islamic State’s executioner of foreign hostages, and several of his European associates have in common is their passion for football and their dashed hopes of becoming professional players. They all belonged to amateur teams or bonded in part by playing football together. Like …

Daily News Egypt

Football racism highlights Europe’s struggle with transition and entrenched racism

By James M. Dorsey Recent football-related racism highlights European nations’ tortured transition from ethnically relatively homogeneous to multicultural immigration societies amid a resurgence of entrenched racial, including anti-Semitic, attitudes that flourish in times of economic crisis and are not limited to Muslim communities. Fans across Europe have lined up on both sides of the racism …

Daily News Egypt

Semanur Karaman

Whose lives matter in current day Egypt?

By Semanur Karaman On 9 February, in response to the deadly police violence that left 40 football fans killed and dozens murdered in Cairo, Shadi Zalat compared the price of a ticket to the price of life. Unfortunately, in present-day Egypt, the rhetoric behind the comparison is a saddening one as lives of ordinary civilians …

Daily News Egypt