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

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Should FIFA ban Iran?

Some have responded on various soccer fora to my blog post, Iran Bans Women From Watching Asian Cup in Movie Theaters, saying FIFA should ban or sanction Iran. Its an interesting proposition. Sanctions haven't swayed Iran on the nuclear issue but soccer is a much more emotive, passionate matter in Iran. And as mentioned in my post, Iran Coach Calls For Politics-free Soccer, the Iranian regime is extremely sensitive to soccer-sparked anti-government protests.


  1. At least they have movie theaters. In Saudi Arabia there is no such thing! If you are going to ban a country for a lack of women's rights it should be Saudi Arabia.

    The only time FIFA banned a country for its political actions was for the Apartheid practiced in South Africa. The only country you could make a case for banning on those lines is Israel.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Saudi Arabia has indeed huge issues when it come to women's soccer. It recently launched an investigation into matches played by women's team in a school.

    Having said that things are changing in Saudi cinema. It actually produces a number of films that are shown in kingdom and has launched the Rotana television network. The driving force behind this is Sheikh Waleed bin Talal, a bit of a reformer.

    FIFA has suspended in the past Middle Eastern federations, including Iran, to impose its will. The federations currently threatened with a ban is Iraq. These suspensions relate mostly to alleged government interference and are a farce because the solution accepted by FIFA never diminishes government control and manipulation.