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 7, 2011

Tunisia Follows Egypt in Reviving Suspended Soccer League

Tunisia has agreed to lift a ban on professional soccer matches, a day after the Egyptian government authorized the restart of the country’s Premier League to save clubs from bankruptcy.

League matches in Tunisia and Egypt were suspended in January to prevent the pitch from becoming an opposition rallying point amid mass anti-government demonstrations that in January toppled Tunisian President Zine Abedine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak a month later.

Authorities in both countries were reluctant to restart professional matches because of continued political unrest. That reluctance was initially reinforced after militant fans of crowned Cairo stormed the pitch last Saturday during their team’s crucial African championship match against Tunisia’s Club Africain.  

Fears that clubs may go bankrupt as a result of the prolonged suspension ultimately swayed the authorities in both countries to authorize the resumption of league matches. In the past months, authorities had only allowed African qualifiers. Tunisia’s league will resume on April 13 and Egypt’s on April 13.

Tunisia had initially authorized a restart last month but then backed down on its decision because of security fears. Egypt initially reversed its decision on Sunday after the storming the pitch to allow a revival on the league but ultimately backed down two days later under pressure from the clubs.

The financial health of clubs also persuaded authorities in Tunisia and Egypt to drop suggestions that the leagues be allowed to resume only behind closed doors because this would have deprived the clubs of ticket revenues. Authorities in Egypt said there would be “necessary” security at matches. Saturday’s storming of the pitch occurred because police had been virtually absent to avoid a clash with fans. 

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