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Showing posts from October, 2014

Kurdish soccer team sparks Swedish FA ire over battle for Kobani, sparks debate on what is politics?

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By James M. Dorsey
When Ramazan Kizil established Dalkurd FF, one of Europe’s most successful immigrant soccer teams, in a remote town in northern Sweden, he dreamt of one day raising the Swedish and the Kurdish flag alongside one another in a European championship. These days, Mr. Kizil’s goals are more immediate: aiding embattled Kurdish fighters fending off attacks by Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq, in the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobani.
Mr. Kizil’s Dalkurd sparked anger in the Swedish Football Federation (SFF), further fuelled debate within the international sports community about the relationship between sports and politics, and focused attention on the blowback of conflict in the Middle East and North African on migrant communities in Europe, when the club flashed a sign saying ‘Save Kobani’ during a recent soccer match. The club based in Borlänge, an iron and paper mill town 300 kilometres north of Stockholm, raised €3,000 durin…

Egyptian campuses and soccer emerge as flashpoint in resistance to President Al Sisi

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By James M. Dorsey
Soccer fans exploiting stadia as contested public space emerged more than three years ago as a key force in anti-government protests that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and opposition to subsequent military rule. With stadia closed to spectators for much of the period since then, protesting students backed by militant football fans have turned university campuses into the new stadia with hundreds detained and scores killed. Theirs is a battle for public space and resistance to efforts by general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to depoliticize youth emboldened by its success in overthrowing a dictator after 30 years in office and angered by their being side-lined in the wake of their successful revolt and the rolling back of heavily fought achievements.
With Mr. Al Sisi employing brute force by security forces, a private security firm reportedly owned by generals and regime-friendly businessmen, and Mubarak-era thugs, and a crackdown on academic free…

If Jordan’s Prince Ali nominates for FIFA presidency, it’s a positive move Australia should support (JMD quoted on Fox Sports)

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Mounting Israeli-Palestinians tensions reverberate on the soccer pitch

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Beitar Jerusalem fans
By James M. Dorsey
Mounting tension between Israel and Palestinians on the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem have spilt on to Israeli Palestinian soccer pitches in Israel proper as Israel swings towards ultra-nationalists that make Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu look like the best card in a bad hand.
Israeli human rights and legal advocacy group Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights charged in a petition to the Tel Aviv district court that the Israel Football Association (IFA) was segregating Israeli and Palestinian teams and discriminating Israeli Palestinian players in its Shomron amateur division. Adalah was acting on behalf of Muhammad Lutfi from the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahem, the father of a young Israeli Palestinian soccer player.
In its petition to the court Adalah said the IFA had advised 13 of the 15 Palestinian teams in the division that they were being moved into a division for Palestinians only. The remaining two Palestinian …

Saudi War With Islamic State Echoes Kingdom’s Own Past (JMD quoted on Bloomberg)

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