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Angry Saudi football clubs pinpoint Gulf labour market contradictions

By James M. Dorsey Mounting anger among Saudi football clubs at their subjugation to quotas designed to encourage employment of Saudi nationals and reduce dependence on foreign labour illustrates problems encountered by wealthy Gulf countries in balancing the contradictory demands of labour markets, often lopsided demographics, social contracts involving a cradle-to-grave welfare state that creates …

Daily News Egypt

Messi’s other side

By Dr Cesar Chelala When almost everybody thought that Lionel Messi’s best times were in the past, the Argentine player became the top scorer both in the Spanish and in the Champions League – an extraordinary achievement – proving again his exceptional qualities. There is, however, another side to Messi that is as remarkable and …

Daily News Egypt

Gulf football diplomacy highlights regional divisions

By James M. Dorsey Wealthy Gulf states have invited Jordan and Morocco to compete in future Gulf Cups as part of a bid to strengthen their fragile six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at a time that they have at best papered over deep rifts within the group. The invitation follows an earlier stalled attempt to …

Daily News Egypt

Moroccan refusal to host African Cup rooted in fear and prejudice

By James M. Dorsey Morocco’s refusal to host next month’s 2014 African Cup of Nations football tournament out of fear that it could import the Ebola virus from West Africa spotlights complex relations between the continent’s Arab and sub-Saharan nations as well as the non-transparent inner workings of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), a …

Daily News Egypt

Mounting Israeli-Palestinian tensions reverberate on the football pitch

By James M. Dorsey Mounting tension between Israel and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem have spilt onto Israeli Palestinian football pitches in Israel proper as Israel swings towards ultra-nationalists that make Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu look like the best card in a bad hand. Israeli human rights and legal advocacy …

Daily News Egypt

Egypt keeps changing suits – but its mindset remains intact

By Mohammed Nosseir Egypt has not changed a bit! It claims to have gone through two revolutions in less than three years and it has managed to have four different rulers since Mubarak was toppled from power, and has been shaped by the diverse styles of its successive rulers. However, the same mindset that was …

Daily News Egypt

World Cup sparks Islamist debate on football’s integrity

By James M. Dorsey Ultra-conservative clerics are condemning football as a Jewish and Christian tool undermining Islamic culture as millions of Muslims worldwide tune in to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The condemnations revive an enduring debate among conservatives and militants about the football’s integrity. They constitute one side of a jihadi and Salafi …

Daily News Egypt