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

Friday, April 8, 2011

Israeli Court reinstates Beitar Jerusalem docked point

The court said it was swayed into reinstating the point because of the "huge efforts" Beitar was making to combat its own fans' racist behaviour.

The punishment, which now stands at two suspended points for the current season and next season, was imposed after Beitar fans chanted anti-Arab slogans at two league fixtures earlier this year against Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Ramat Gan.

The appeals court also said a 60,000 shekel ($17,400) fine that was imposed in the original sentence should go towards funding efforts to combat racism in soccer.

Beitar have the worst disciplinary record in Israel's Premier League. Since 2005 they have faced more than 20 hearings and have received various punishments, including points deductions, fines and matches behind closed doors.

Beitar Jerusalem’s matches often resemble a Middle Eastern battlefield. It’s mostly Sephardic fans of Middle Eastern and North African origin revel in their status as the bad boys of Israeli soccer. Their dislike of Ashkenazi Jews of East European extraction rivals their disdain for Palestinians.

Supported by Israeli right wing leaders such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Beitar traces its roots to a revanchist Zionist youth movement. Its founding players actively resisted the pre-state British mandate authorities.

Its fans shocked Israelis when they refused to observe a moment of silence for assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who initiated the first peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Beitar’s war reaches a feverish pitch when the team plays Bnei Sakhnin, an Israeli Palestinian team that won the Israel Cup in 2004.

Its racist outbursts have prompted the Israeli Football Association to become the Middle East’s only soccer league institution to launch a campaign against racism and discrimination.

Beitar were Israel's richest club until three seasons ago when their main financial backer, Russian-born billionaire Arkady Gaydamak, stopped most of his funding, although he continues to own the club.

They lie in 11th place in the 16-team division with 32 points from 28 games.
The club are the only one among the leading outfits never to have signed an Israeli-Arab player because of fan pressure. 

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