Richard Whittall:

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”


Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach

"James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport

“Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”

Play the Game

"Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal

"Dorsey statement (on Egypt) proved prophetic."
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated

"Essential Reading"
Change FIFA

"A fantastic new blog'
Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life

"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"
Christopher Ahl, Play the Game

"An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football


Friday, January 28, 2011

Al Jazeera Set to Hire Controversial British Sports Presenters


Al Jazeera, in a bid to beef up its English-language soccer coverage, is reportedly set to hire two controversial Sky Sports presenters, who left the British broadcaster this week amid allegations of having made sexist comments.

The expected hiring of Richard Keys and Andy Gray, reported by The Evening Standard, comes days after Jazeera won the rights to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cups across the Middle East and North Africa.

Keys and Gray, a former Everton striker, were forced to leave Sky after they were caught on tapes leaked on the Internet making sexist comments about a female assistant referee, Sian Massey.

The two presenters’ departure was first reported by The Guardian.  Prominent soccer media critic Richard Whittall, writing on his blog, A More Splendid Life, wryly pointed out “the hypocrisy” of traditional media breaking the story given the  “sexism within its own ranks…” 

Whittall noted that traditional soccer media have “largely been completely dismissive of women's soccer (to the detriment of the development of the sport in England, as well as an echo of the sad legacy of the FA's relationship with women's football).”

Al Jazeera, one of the world’s top global broadcasters, has populated the staff of its English-language service with prominent broadcasters from major US and British broadcast companies.

The controversial network, owned by the ruling of family of Qatar, which last month won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, is playing an important role with its reporting in the escalating mass protests across the Arab world that earlier this month toppled Tunisian President  Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

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