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Egyptian soccer fans set stage for growing anti-government protests

James Dorsey | Posted 04.23.2016 | World
James Dorsey

By James M. Dorsey Militant, street battle-hardened Egyptian soccer fans set the stage for growing protests against the government of general-turned-...

Recognizing fan power, Egypt's regime boosts calls for security sector reform

James Dorsey | Posted 04.10.2016 | World
James Dorsey

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's brutal regime in rare gestures towards his opponents has twice this year recognized the potential street power of his country's militant, street battle-hardened soccer fans.

Conviction of Egyptian Soccer Fans Slams Door on Potential Political Dialogue

James Dorsey | Posted 02.16.2016 | World
James Dorsey

Fleeting hopes that Egypt's militant, street battled-hardened soccer fans may have breached general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's repressive armour were dashed with this week's sentencing of 15 supporters on charges of attempting to assassinate the controversial head of storied Cairo club Al Zamalek SC.

Mired in problems: Egypt's president reaches out to ultras

James Dorsey | Posted 02.02.2016 | Sports
James Dorsey

Best known for his brutal repression of critics, Egyptian-general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al Sisi has invited protesting militant anti-government soccer fans to investigate a 2012 politically loaded soccer brawl in which 72 supporters of storied Cairo club Al Ahli SC died.

Fearful of Protests, Egypt Keeps Stadia Closed

James Dorsey | Posted 12.14.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Egyptian law enforcement authorities and the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), in a reflection of fears that stadia in Egypt could once more emerge as platforms for anti-government protest, have extended a ban on spectators attending matches that has been in place for much of the last five years.

Egyptian Soccer Fans Put Youth Disillusion With Elections on Public Display

James Dorsey | Posted 10.21.2015 | Sports
James Dorsey

As Egyptian general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi struggled this week to get Egyptians to cast their vote in parliamentary elections, militant soccer fans put widespread youth disillusionment with the president's autocratic rule on public display.

Militant Soccer Fans Are on a Roll Across Eurasia

James Dorsey | Posted 09.13.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Carsi, one of Turkey's largest, if not its largest, fan group has long campaigned for social justice related issues, and played in 2013 a key role in the biggest anti-government protests since Mr. Erdogan's rise to power in 2003.

Egypt Throws the Dice With Partial Lifting of Stadia Ban

James Dorsey | Posted 09.10.2015 | Sports
James Dorsey

The Egyptian interior ministry, in a potential signal that the country's military-backed regime recognizes that its choking off of all public space could backfire, has agreed to allow fans to attend international matches played by the national team and Egyptian clubs.

The Middle East: Who Says Popular Quest for Change has Been Quelled?

James Dorsey | Posted 08.29.2015 | World
James Dorsey

A series of recent mass protests in several Arab countries have called into question suggestions that civil wars, brutal crackdowns and military coups and interventions have quelled popular willingness to stand up for rights in the Middle East.

Militant Soccer Fans Claim Responsibility for Cairo Bombing

James Dorsey | Posted 08.20.2015 | World
James Dorsey

A shadowy group of militant soccer fans that has largely lied low since it participated in mass anti-government protests in 2013 that led to the military overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has claimed responsibility for a car bomb near a Cairo security building that injured at least six policemen.

The Cairo Derby: Politics vs. repression

James Dorsey | Posted 07.29.2015 | Sports
James Dorsey

This month's premier league final between Cairo's two storied clubs, Al Ahli SC and Al Zamalek SC, once the world's most violent derby, was more than a clash between two soccer giants.

Egyptian Soccer Player Criticizes Sisi in Reflection of Mounting Discontent

James Dorsey | Posted 07.06.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Criticism this week by soccer player Ahmed al-Merghani of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's hard-handed repression of dissent and failure to defeat a mushrooming insurgency in the Sinai peninsula signals mounting discontent in Egypt.

A Study in Contrasts: Militaries in Political Transitions in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa

James Dorsey | Posted 06.25.2015 | World
James Dorsey

The Economist recently highlighted the contrast between post-revolt Asian societies and Middle Eastern and North African societies in the woes of a pro-longed, messy and bloody transition that is pockmarked by revolt and counter-revolt, sectarianism, the redrawing of post-colonial borders, and the rise of retrograde groups as revolutionary forces.

Egypt Bans Ultras in Bid to Break Anti-Government Protests

James Dorsey | Posted 05.16.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Ultras have for the past eight years been at the core of anti-government protest in Egypt. They have been the drivers of student protests in the last two years against the regime of Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the general-turned-president who in 2013 toppled Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first and only democratically elected president.

Aboutreika: Bridging Egyptian Polarization or Signalling a Shift in Attitudes?

James Dorsey | Posted 05.11.2015 | Sports
James Dorsey

Few are able to bridge Egypt's deeply polarizing divide between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood following the 2013 military coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi.

Egyptian Death Sentence for Soccer Fans Puts President's Iron Grip to the Test

James Dorsey | Posted 06.19.2015 | Sports
James Dorsey

Egyptian-general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al Sisi's iron grip on dissident is likely to be put to the test with the sentencing to death of 11 soccer fans for involvement in a politically loaded football brawl three years ago that left 74 militant supporters of Al Ahli SC dead.

Egypt Moves Closer to Labelling Soccer Fans As Terrorists

James Dorsey | Posted 06.14.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Egypt has moved closer to banning as terrorist organizations militant soccer groups that form the backbone of opposition to autocratic rule with the arrest and pre-trial detention of five alleged members of the Ultras White Knights (UWK), the highly-politicized, street battle-hardened support group of storied Cairo club Al Zamalek SC.

Attempts to Ban Egyptian Militant Soccer Fan Group Gather Momentum

James Dorsey | Posted 05.17.2015 | Sports
James Dorsey

An Egyptian prosecutor has set the stage for the banning of a group of hard-core, militant soccer fans by charging them with accepting money and explosives from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to stage last month's Cairo football riot in which 22 people were killed.

Egyptian Spectator Ban: Flashpoint for Conflict and Statement of Weakness

James Dorsey | Posted 04.28.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Militant, highly politicized, street battle-hardened supporters of both clubs played a key role in the demonstrations that removed Mr. Mubarak from power and in protests against all subsequent governments, including that of Mr. Al Sisi.

Soccer Deaths Renews Spotlight on Egypt's Notorious Security Forces

James Dorsey | Posted 04.17.2015 | World
James Dorsey

A stampede at a Cairo stadium earlier this month, much like a politically-loaded soccer brawl in the Suez Canal city of Port Said three years ago, is shining a spotlight on Egypt's unreformed, unabashedly violent, and politically powerful police and security forces amid confusion over what precisely happened and how many fans died.

Soccer Deaths Raise Stakes for Egypt's General-Turned-President Al Sisi

James Dorsey | Posted 04.10.2015 | World
James Dorsey

The death of at least 40 militant, highly politicized, and street battle-hardened Egyptian soccer fans in clashes with security forces raises the stakes for general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's efforts to suppress political dissent.

Egypt Appoints Controversial UAE Hired Gun As Elections Monitor

James Dorsey | Posted 03.30.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Egyptian-general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's efforts to lend legitimacy to parliamentary elections scheduled for this spring have gotten off to a murky start with the appointment of a controversial, reportedly United Arab Emirates-backed human rights NGO as one of five foreign election monitors.

Conflicting Views of Islam Spill onto the Soccer Pitch

James Dorsey | Posted 03.23.2015 | World
James Dorsey

When Sarah Samir stepped this week on to an Egyptian soccer pitch to referee a men's match, she joined a small band of Arab women referees staking out their right to be involved in the sport on par with men.

Government and Fans Battle in Court and on the Pitch in Egypt and Turkey

James Dorsey | Posted 02.11.2015 | World
James Dorsey

In Turkey, the government has sought to drive a wedge between militant fans and other supporters by arguing that e-ticketing was a way to combat illegal ticket scalping, increase tax revenues and ensure that stadia are safe for families.

Militant Soccer Fans Reassert Their Key Role in Protest With Storming of Cairo Stadium

James Dorsey | Posted 02.05.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Militant, street battle-hardened soccer fans stormed a Cairo stadium in advance of the second leg of crowned Cairo Al Ahli SC's African Confederation Cup final against Ivory Coast's Sewe Sport in a reassertion of the fans' key role in protest against the regime of toppled president Hosni Mubarak.