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, April 5, 2011

Syria Suspends Soccer Matches Amid Anti-Government Protests

Syria, wracked by anti-government protests, has become the latest Arab state to suspend its professional league mid-season in a bid to prevent the soccer pitch from becoming an opposition rallying point.

The Syrian football federation announced the suspension without referring to the country’s political turmoil. Instead, it said the suspension was "to allow national, Olympic, youth and junior teams to respond to other commitments."

It said that "new instructions will be given concerning the resumption of sporting activities at the appropriate time."

The unprecedented protests in Syria that put his family four-decade grip on power to its most serious test since Bashar assumed office 11 years ago aim to force Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to grant greater freedoms and test his family's four-decade grip on power.
Activists estimate more than 130 people have been killed in clashes with security forces, but officials put the death toll at about 30.

The Syrian decision follows the suspension of the Egyptian and Tunisian leagues in January. Those leagues remain suspended despite the fact that protests led to the toppling in January of Tunisian President Zine Abedine Ben Ali and of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in March.

Plans to revive the Egypt’s Premier League in mid-April were put on hold this weekend after militant fans of crowned Cairo club Zamalek SC stormed the pitch on Saturday during their team’s crucial return African championship match against Tunisia’s Club African in the Cairo International Stadium.

Only five matches in two African club competitions have been allowed in the country since the mass demonstrations.

Egypt’s military rulers agreed last month only reluctantly to the mid-April resumption and were quick to reverse that decision to figure out whether to cancel this season’s league or find a way to allow it go ahead with security. The military’s concern stems from Egyptian soccer’s history as a venue for dissent and the fact that soccer fans played a key role in the demonstrations that led to Mubarak’s ousting.

The government and the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) are considering reviving the league behind closed doors or inside military camps after a pitch invasion at the weekend, the EFA said in a statement on its website

"I will hold a series of meetings with officials to discuss the situation and work out a final solution for the resumption of the competition. We could play matches behind closed doors and also on the pitches of the armed forces," the statement quoted EFA president Samir Zaher as saying

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