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, March 8, 2011

Egyptian Players Boycott Training in Protest against Salary Cuts and Missed Rental Payments

A majority of Port Said’s Al-Masry Club’s Premier League soccer team boycotted training this week in the first labor protest against plans by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to curb salaries for soccer players and coaches, soccer website FilGoal.com reported.

Al-Masry was forced to cancel its training session on Monday when only eight of the team’s 28 players showed up. FilGoal quoted the club’s website as saying the absentee players were each fined EGP 10,000 (US$ 1,700) for missing training without permission.

The EFA effort to curb salaries as well as transfer pricing has driven a wedge between players and coaches on the one hand and fans on the other with players resisting the call for salary cuts.

The boycott of the Al-Masry training session was the first incident in which players took their opposition beyond verbal denunciations. The EFA says the cuts are part of badly needed financial austerity to help cash-strapped clubs cope with the fallout of the political turmoil in Egypt that last month toppled President Hosni Mubarak and the suspension of league matches since January.

Soccer fans are insisting that the demand for political and economic reform in Egypt be extended to the football sector. Fans have recently denounced players for demanding millions in salaries while a majority of the country lives on $2 a day and for failing to support the mass protests that led to Mubarak’s resignation after 30 years in office.

Seven Ittihad Al-Skandarya players in the port city of Alexandria missed training this week because of the club’s failure to pay their rents. “I couldn’t argue with them after their decision. Players can be patient with late wages, but their home rents should have been paid,” said Ittihad coach Mohamed Amer.

Demonstrators last week forced the chairman of Ittihad, a member of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, and three of the club’s board members to resign because of Ittihad’s poor performance in the league. The board members were the first casualties of fans flexing the muscles of their newly found people power.

Fan anger and activism has prevented Egypt’s ruling military authorities from endorsing a call by the EFA to resume matches. The military fears that fans and spectators may turn the soccer pitch into a venue for protests against its transitional rule as well as the players and clubs.

No comments:

Post a Comment