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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Egyptian Government Authorizes Resumption of Soccer Matches

The Egyptian government has authorized the restart of the country’s premier soccer league after clubs warned that the continued suspension since January threatened to bankrupt them.

The authorization following a meeting between Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf with senior sports officials comes two days after the government had cancelled plans to restart the league because of last weekend’s disruption by militant fans of an African championship match in the Cairo International Stadium between crowned Al Zamalek SC and Tunisia’s Club Africain.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said matches would begin on April 13 and fans would be allowed to attend. The government had been considering banning fans from the matches after hundreds of militant Zamalek supporters stormed the pitch destroying 
everything in their path and attacking the Algerian referee and players.

The government said on its Facebook page that all "necessary security measures to be taken to organise the competition," but gave no further details.

Zamalek chairman Galal Ibrahim welcomes the EFA decision. “The return of the league is the right decision. Calling the season off would have caused us a lot of financial trouble that could lead us to bankruptcy. Zamalek are one of the clubs who could have suffered dearly from such an end to the season, because most of our revenues come from football,” Ibrahim told Egyptian soccer website

Professional soccer matches were suspended in late January when anti-government protests erupted that forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign in February after 30 years in office.

The pitch invasion has soured historically tense Algerian-Egyptian football relations.
Algerian Football Association (AFA) president Mohamed Raouraoua has asked the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to no longer assign Algerian referees to Egyptian 
matches after the referee in last weekend’s match was beaten by the Zamalek fans.

“Egyptian supporters are always tense towards Algerian referees, so I asked to exclude them from refereeing games in Egypt, whether for the clubs or national teams,” Raouraoua was quoted as saying by Algerian newspaper Elkhabar.

Raouraoua blamed Zamalek coach Hossam Hassan and controversial Zamalek board member Ibrahim Hassan for inciting the attacks. “That tension was clear when the twins, Hossam and Ibrahim Hassan, severely attacked CAF for appointing an Algerian referee for the game,” he said.

Egypt and Algeria have a history of soccer-related violence that has at times soured their diplomatic relations. Riots erupted in late 2010 after Algeria beat Egypt, squashing its hopes of reaching the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

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