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


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Riots Force US Cancellation of Egyptian Soccer Friendly


The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), bowing to reality, Monday cancelled the US national soccer team’s friendly against Egypt scheduled to be played in Cairo on February 9.

"We were excited about the opportunity to play against Egypt, but due to the current situation all parties agreed it was best to cancel the match," USSF president Sunil Gulati said on the federation's website.

"We appreciate the efforts of the Egyptian Football Association and the U.S. State Department as we worked through this situation," Gulati added.

The USSF dithered in recent days, refusing to cancel the match although it was evident that mass demonstrations in Egypt demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule were not about to end any time soon.

Even if the demonstrators succeed in toppling Mubarak in the coming days, it would take some time for calm and normalcy to be restored after at least a week of protests and violence that have wracked Cairo and other Egyptian cities.

In refusing to cancel the match until today, the USSF was acting in many ways like the Obama administration, refusing to be seen as abandoning Mubarak, a long-standing US ally in the Middle East.

The USSF was forced to cancel the match after Egyptian Football Association officials privately made clear that a US proposal to hold the match in a third country was not a realistic alternative.

The EFA officials noted that neither the team nor they would be willing to leave Egypt while it is in turmoil. 

Team members, like many other Egyptians, have supported the protests while at the same time establishing neighbourhood watch teams to protect their families and property from thugs and criminals.

With soccer fans playing a key role in the anti-Mubarak protests, neither the EFA or the team wanted to moreover risk being seen as abandoning Egypt at a time of likely historic change.



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