A successful soccer player near the peak of his career, 22-year Nidhal Selmi died last week a foreign fighter for the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq.
An expected decision by Egyptian soccer authorities to ban as terrorist organizations groups of militant soccer fans builds on the definition by Arab autocrats of legitimate, democratic opposition forces as violent threats to their grip on power.
Pricing by Qatari entities holding World Cup rights for the Middle East and North Africa, including Al Jazeera's belN Sports channel, puts broadcasts beyond the reach of many football fans in the region.
Over the past hundred years, the process of polarized dehumanization, distrust, and betrayal has resulted in a spiraling deprecation of cultural and social values in Muslim countries.
Egyptian soccer is adding salt to the run-up to presidential elections that are certain to be won by the country's strongman, newly retired general Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, with the announcement of the controversial chairman of one of Egypt's foremost clubs that he too was a presidential candidate.
There is a crisis unfolding in Egypt: some of the world's most precious archaeological sites and artifacts are being senselessly looted.
Mr. Hamdi, a former soccer player and Al Ahli captain, has headed the club, whose supporters played a key role in toppling Mr. Mubarak and have clashed repeatedly in recent months with security forces, for 12 years.
In a rare demonstration of unity, several groups of militant soccer fans have thrown down a gauntlet for the Egyptian interior ministry and its security forces by effectively demanding ownership of sports stadia.
The Egyptian government's effort to promote soccer and use the sport to garner public support amounts to a double-edged sword.
For my recent birthday I gave myself a gift I'd wanted since I was five - no, not a pony, the Pyramids. I've always been obsessed with Ancient Egy...
With multiple potential flashpoints coinciding, militant, street-battle hardened Egyptian soccer fans threaten to align stadia alongside the country's...
Qatari authorities, in a bid to counter criticism that the Gulf state lacks a soccer culture as well as a sense that low attendance of matches could constitute a form of protest, has launched a politically sensitive survey to gauge reasons for its empty stadia.
Egypt remains complex: most 'liberals' seem to have bought into the military as some kind of 'revolutionary savior', while the Muslim Brotherhood calls Morsi 'a universal symbol of freedom and resistance and an icon of democracy'. Neither bears much resemblance to reality.
This week's banning of a prominent Egyptian soccer player for expressing political views on the pitch goes to the core of international sports' problems: a refusal to recognize the inextricable linkage between sports and politics.
Clashes this weekend between security forces and militant supporters of Cairo club Al Ahli SC have dented the Egyptian military-backed government's efforts to show that the country had put its political crisis behind it.
Little better illustrates the inextricable link between sports and politics than the frequent perception of Middle Eastern and North African national football teams as representatives of repressive autocratic regimes.