Richard Whittall:

The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

Middle East Eye: "

The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer is one of the weightiest, most revelatory, original and important books written about sport"

“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: "No one is better at this kind of work than James Dorsey"
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

EU About to Force Italy to Freeze Libya’s Stake in Juventus

A European Union decision to extend sanctions imposed on Libya is likely to force the Italian government to freeze Libyan assets, including the Gadaffi regime’s stake in soccer club Juventus FC.

The expanded sanctions would include Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, the $70 billion Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), and its subsidiaries, which are with a 7.5 percent stake in Juventus, the club’s second largest shareholders after the Agnelli family, owners of Fiat.

The expanded sanctions are set to take effect at midday on Tuesday Central European Time (CET) provided no EU member state raises objections.

It was not immediately clear whether Italy would resist the expansion, which would leave it no choice but to implement the sanctions. Italy was a prime Libyan investment target and the government has so far been reluctant to cut its economic ties to the North African country that involve interests in oil, finance and other key economic sectors.

Juventus officials privately believe that a freeze on Libyan assets would help them escape further embarrassment over their association with embattled Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadaffi and his family.

Italy based its refusal so far to freeze Libyan assets on the fact that Libyan entities holding stakes in Italian companies that beyond Juventus also include a 7.5 percent stake in Unicredit, Italy’s largest bank which owns AC Roma because were not included in the EU assets freeze list. That argument would no longer be valid if the expanded sanctions are adopted on Tuesday.

Italian officials said earlier that Italy would freeze Libyan assets only if it was obliged to do so by measures adopted by the EU.

Juventus’ embarrassment is compounded by the fact that its association with the Gadaffis contrasts starkly with its insistence that it seeks to reconcile the "professional and business side of football with its ethical and social role".

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