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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tunisian Bans Fans From Soccer Matches

Violent clashes during two recent Tunisian league matches has prompted the country’s soccer authority to ban fans from the rest of the season’s games.

The decision by the Tunisian Football Federation (TFF) came after militant fans stormed the pitch last Sunday during matches between Olympique Beja and AS Marsa  and Club Bizertiain against CS Sfaxien.

Referees declared a strike after the incidents to demand enhanced security. The strike forced the cancellation of two league matches on Wednesday. The referees are scheduled to discuss the situation with the TFF on Thursday.

The incidents confirmed the government’s worst fears which last month only reluctantly agreed to restarting the league competition. The competition was suspended in January to prevent the pitch from becoming a rallying point for protesters who forced Tunisian President Zine Abedine Ben Ali to resign after 23 years in power. Militant soccer fans played a key role in the toppling of Ben Ali as well as in protests in Egypt that led to the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak.

The Tunisian federation said its ban on fans attending matches applied to the season’s 
remaining ten matches but not to African Champions League or Confederation Cup games.

The incidents had much in common with last month’s storming of the pitch in Cairo during an African championship match between Al Zamalek FC and Club African. Police were almost absent in both games giving militant fans for the first time in years control of the stadium. In Bizerte, fans damaged stadium facilities and television cameras to protest Sfaxien’s 3-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of the game.

In Cairo, the invasion was in protest against a referee decision that threatened to prevent Zamalek from advancing in the competition. The invasion followed a smaller incident in an earlier match in Tunis between Zamalek and Club African for which the Tunisian club was fined $10,000.

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