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, February 20, 2011

Libyan Soccer Fans Cheer Gaddafi Son in Tripoli

Soccer fans in Libya, wracked by anti-government protests in which security forces have killed dozens, appear to be playing a very different role from their counterparts in Egypt and Tunisia.

If Libyan state-run television is to be believed, some 1,000 fans of Tripoli clubs Al Ahli and Al Ettihad gathered in the Libyan capital’s Green Square to cheer one of Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi.

Saadi toured the square on the roof of a car, waving and shaking the hands of supporters, who chanted “God, Libya and Moammar only.”

The cheering of Saadi, who several years ago imposed himself as a member of Libya’s national team as part of the Gaddafi family’s effort to employ soccer as a form of political and social control, contrasted starkly with events elsewhere in North Africa.

Soccer fans in Egypt and Tunisia played key roles in overthrowing the dictatorships of Messrs. Hosni Mubarak and Zine Abedine Ben Ali.

The cheering of Saadi came as he was put in charge of brutally crushing the revolt in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city 1,000 kilometres east of Tripoli and a centre of the anti-government protests. Many of the deaths in recent days reportedly occurred in Benghazi.

While the Gaddafis traditionally enjoy more of a powerbase in Tripoli than in eastern Libya, it was not immediately clear what persuaded the soccer fans to cheer Saadi Gaddafi. Libyan opposition supporters suggest the fans may not have had a choice, noting that the government keeps a tight political reign on the soccer clubs.


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