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