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Showing posts from April, 2013

Academic Dorsey allowed to appeal High Court ruling

Academic Dorsey allowed to appeal High Court ruling Ruling ordered him to disclose sources for blog post BY GRACE LEONG PRINT |EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
THE Singapore appellate court has allowed local academic James Michael Dorsey to appeal a High Court ruling that ordered him to divulge his sources for a blog post that a company has claimed is defamatory of it. Mr Dorsey, a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, is appealing an order by Justice Judith Prakash to name the sources that he quoted in a blog post entitled "FIFA investigates: World Cup host Qatar in the hot seat". Justice Prakash found that his sources had "prima facie breached their duties of confidentiality" under a master rights agreement between events management firm World Sport Group (WSG) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and ordered him to disclose if a copy of the agreement had been given to him. WSG had tried to block Mr Do…

JMD on Xinhua: AFC to elect new chief in first post-Hammam election

AFC to elect new chief in first post-Hammam election linhao 745 words 30 April 2013 05:49 Xinhua News Agency XNEWS English Copyright 2013. Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved. KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) this week is set to elect its new chief, who will have an uphill battle to restore the Asian football governing body' s tarnished image and reputation left by its disgraced former boss, Mohamed Bin Hammam. Almost all candidates have promised stern actions against corruption, more transparency and better governance for the AFC in the first poll in the post-Hammam era. Bahrain Football Association chief Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, backed by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad AL-Sabah, is widely seen as a frontrunner for the presidential race in the run-up to the AFC Extraordinary Congress to be held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. He is competing with other two candidates from the Middle East -- United Arab Emir…

Players’ complaints overshadow Qatari attempts to project improved workers’ rights

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By James M. Dorsey
Employment-related complaints by two international players, one of whom is barred from leaving Qatar, threaten to overshadow the 2022 World Cup organizing committee’s release of a charter of worker’s rights designed to fend off criticism of labor conditions in the Gulf state.
In separate interviews French-Algerian player Zahir Belounis, who is locked into a salary dispute with Al Jaish SC, the club owned by the Qatari military, and Moroccan international Abdessalam Ouadoo, who left Qatar last November to join AS Nancy-Lorraine, complained about failure to honor their contracts and pay their salaries as well as ill treatment.
The Qatar Stars League, the country’s premier league, did not respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Belounis is locked into a court battle with AL Jaish to get payment of almost two years of unpaid salary. He has been barred from leaving the country in a bid to force him to settle for faction of what is owed to him. “This is a crazy story… I can…

AFC election marred by interference allegations and candidates’ track records

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By James M. Dorsey
Next week’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) presidential elections designed to elect a leader to clean up two years of alleged financial mismanagement and unethical business conduct and polish the group’s tarnished image are increasingly marred by doubts that real reform is on the horizon, allegations of interference in the poll and controversy over the candidates’ track record.
The marring comes against a background of the AFC’s failure, despite efforts by reformers, to project sincerity in achieving transparency and accountability after its president, Qatari national Mohammed Bin Hammam, was banned for life from involvement in soccer because of unethical conduct in his management of the group’s finances and business affairs.
The group has failed so far to follow up on an internal PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that almost a year ago recommended possible legal action against Mr. Bin Hammam and called for a review if not cancellation of the AFC’s foremost $1 bill…

Egyptian soccer TV rights aim to alleviate financial crisis

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Soccer protests in Bizerte By James M. Dorsey
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) hopes to raise at least $17 million in an auction this week of the premier league’s television broadcast rights for clubs financially strapped by two years of political strife that has seen soccer suspended for much of that period and fans banned from attending matches.
Egypt’s Satellite Broadcasting Commission headed by the chairman of crowned Cairo club Al Zamalek SC,  Mamduh Abbas, has set EGP 120 million ($17.3 million) as the starting price of the auction that does not include radio broadcast rights and gives the winner the ability to parcel out segments of the league to different broadcasters.
The targeted price for television broadcast rights constitutes a multiple of the $2.6 million paid by Qatar’s state-run Al Jazeera network in late 2011. It was not immediately clear whether Al Jazeera would bid again for the rights that fit into its building of a significant sports franchise that includes…

Trade unions call on FIFA to deprive Qatar of World Cup

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By James M. Dorsey
International trade unions have called on world soccer body FIFA to deprive Qatar of its right to host the 2022 World Cup because it has failed to end what they term 21st century slavery and adopt international labor standards for the Gulf state’s more than one million foreign workers.
In a letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter dated April 16, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary Sharan Burrow asserted that discussions with Qatari authorities since FIFA awarded Qatar the World Cup in a controversial December 2010 vote have produced no results.
Ms Burrow said the ITUC had obtained a copy of a Charter for Migrant Workers that was drafted by Qatar’s World Cup organizing committee. She said the trade union was disappointed by the drafting process in which the committee failed to consult unions as well as its content. Sources said the draft charter was continuously being revised.
In a press release, the ITUC, which refuses to publish the draft …

ASEAN Super League offers World Sport Group potential fallback

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By James M. Dorsey
Plans to launch an Association of Southeast Nations Football Federation (AFF) Super League with Singapore-based World Sport Group (WSG) as its marketing partner come against the backdrop of an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) presidential election that could put the company’s $1 billion marketing rights agreement with the Asian soccer body in jeopardy.
The new league would be independent of AFC competitions. It would initially kick off in 2015 with eight franchise teams but would likely grow to 16. Major Southeast Asian soccer nations, including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore would have a limited number of franchises to ensure that upcoming countries like Laos and Myanmar are also represented.
AFF council member and AFC vice-president Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah told Reuters that "the AFF has agreed to further develop the proposed concept of the ASEAN Super League together with World Sports Group to be presented to the AFC in the near…

The Shia-Sunni divide: Tunnel vision prevails

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RSIS presents the following commentary The Shia-Sunni divide: Tunnel vision prevails by James M. Dorsey. It is also available online at this link. (To print it, click on this link.). Kindly forward anycomments or feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentaries, at  RSISPublication@ntu.edu.sg

No. 067/2013 dated 17 April 2013

The Shia-Sunni divide:
Tunnel vision prevails
By James M. Dorsey


Synopsis

Tunnel vision prevails on opposite shores of the Gulf where governments execute policies 
based on perception rather than reality. They run the risk of being incapable of managing tensions that could threaten shipping through the strategic Strait of Hormuz as well as create domestic turmoil in both Gulf states and Iran.
Commentary
A WIDENING schism along sectarian lines between Sunni and Shia Muslims was highlighted in two recent conferences, one in Bandar Abbas, Iran, the other in Bahrain. Both were designed to promote opposing government views of popular unrest and discontent sweeping the Middle East and…