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.
Unfortunately, the eloquent posturing of the Bahrain government following the release of the BICI report has only served to mask the increasingly desperate situation on the ground.
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.
Opponents of Qatar's foreign, sports and labor policies are striking at the Gulf state's commercial interests in a bid to either force it to embrace reform or punish it for its support of Islamist groups.
This issue remains one of the most important international topics today, and thus warrants all of our immediate attention. Yet many Americans, especially teens my own age, don't really know what exactly is happening in Syria.
Sectarian divisions fueling conflict across the Middle East have spilt on to the soccer pitch with Iraq's decision to boycott the Gulf Cup and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) warning the Iraqi government not to interfere in the game.
Now, after more than 100,000 dead and hundreds of thousands more uprooted from their homes or taking refuge in Turkey and Jordan, the muddled situation is becoming clearer.
Militant Egyptian soccer fans, a key player in Egypt's almost three year-old political rollercoaster, are fighting a battle for their existence in the...
Bahrain is acting as if it has a free pass to use political prosecutions as a means to silence dissent. It's time for the United States to make clear that no ally -- even one that hosts a naval fleet -- is above the rule of law.
Some in the U.S. concluded that at long last, Tehran desires a thaw in its relations with Washington and a normalization. I remain skeptical, hoping they are correct, but unwilling to make that leap for a number of reasons.
Middle Eastern investors have adopted a new strategy of buying low and selling high with a series of acquisitions of second and third tier European soccer clubs.
I fear that, eventually, a vicious and bloody revolution will bring about an Iranian-style theocracy in Egypt. It is all too often forgotten that the CIA coup of the democratically elected Mosaddegh government in Iran led to the Iranian revolution twenty years later.
Those who want to understand the reasons for the coup in Egypt and for the shocking massacres and human rights violations that followed should study the military, not simply as an important institution in Egypt, but as the controlling institution in Egypt.