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


Friday, September 9, 2011

Turkish-Israeli soccer match takes on political significance

(Source: Dunya Gundemi)

By James M. Dorsey

Next week’s European League match between Israeli soccer club Maccabi Tel Aviv and Turkey’s Besiktas in Istanbul takes on special significance against the backdrop of rapidly deteriorating relations between the two countries.

Turkey last week expelled Israel’s ambassador in response to Israel’s refusal to apologize for its attack last year on a Gaza-bound in which eight Turks and a Turkish-American national were killed. Turkey also suspended military ties to Israel. Adding insult to injury, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considering making a detour to Gaza during a visit to Egypt next week.

The match is likely to be a barometer of Turkish public sentiment which is critical of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and its policies towards the Palestinians and angry about the attack on the aid ship.

Turkish Sports Minister Suat Kilic, in a bid to ensure that the game would nonetheless be played in Istanbul, assured Maccabi that its safety would be ensured, according to Turkish daily Hurriyet. The paper quoted the minister as saying that the bteam would enjoy the "highest level of (Turkish) hospitality" and that Israeli players will return home "safely".

Earlier, Beşiktaş Vice Chairman Metin Keçeli denied reports that Maccabi had expressed concern to European soccer body UEFA about its security in Istanbul and put out feelers for the match to be moved to a neutral venue. “The game will be played at the Fiyapı İnönü Stadium on the announced date,” Mr. Keceli told the semi-official Anatolia news agency.

No comments:

Post a Comment