Category Archives: Middle East

L’Afghanistan : L’Importance de l’émergence de foot

Depuis 2001, la grande majorité de discours au sujet de l’Afghanistan qui se passe aux Etats-Unis s’oriente autour du terrorisme et de la guerre. Ainsi, c’est parfois trop facile de penser que l’Afghanistan est un terrain vague, une zone de combat sous l’influence des barbares. Cette perception de l’Afghanistan est malheureusement incorrecte ; la moindre des choses, c’est… Read More »

Qatari Foundations

(This piece was originally published in the April 2013 issue of the Chimurenga Chronic) A spectre is haunting European football – the spectre of Qatar. No holy alliance has emerged to respond to this rising power; indeed, it has been embraced by both established luminaries (Barcelona, Zidane) and by (hopeful) rising stars, such as the… Read More »

The Hijab on the Pitch

(Article cross-posted from “Muslim Feminisms” forum at The Feminist Wire) Members of the Iranian National Women’s Football team (Source: FIFPro)   On Friday, July 6, the French Football Federation announced that it would ban the wearing of hijab during all organized competitions held in France. The Federation declared that in doing so it was fulfilling… Read More »

From the Stadium to the Streets in Egypt

There were several interesting reports this week about the fact that some of the best organized and most effective groups involved in the protests in Egypt came from what some saw as a surprising place: football fan groups. As a report on Gawker noted: “When asked about the role of political groups in organizing protests,… Read More »

Burying War Through Football in Lebanon

A student posted a link on my “Global France” blog about a fascinating football tournament organized in Lebanon recently as a way of commemorating, but also burying, the wars that tore about the country starting in the 1970s. You can read her post here, and the full story here. Interestingly, while the match was intended… Read More »

Iranian Football Protest

Thanks to my friend Negar Mottehedeh, and via a post from Enduring America, here are two videos from a January 6th game between Iran and Singapore, during which Iranian fans chanted anti-government slogans — “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein,” in support of opposition leader Mousavi in the 1st video, and “Marg Bar Dictator,” (“Down with the… Read More »

Wacky Idea for a Complex Problem: The Limits of Football as a Tool for Engagement?

I have posted links before in which people have expressed interest in some sort of a football game to engage Israelis and Palestinians. I came across this article recently which mentions the Brazilian President trying to set up a game in which Israelis/Palestinians would join to play the Brazilian national team. I don’t know how… Read More »