Bahraini soccer players have sought in recent statements to absolve Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president and world soccer body FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, a member of the Gulf island's ruling family, of any moral or direct responsibility for the arrest, dismissal and abuse of hundreds of sports executives and athletes accused of having protested against repressive and discriminatory rule.
Military operations resulted in an economic recession and deepened local infighting. Saudi Arabia has also lost soldiers in battle and faces increased retaliatory attacks. To avoid further bloodshed, it would be wise for Saudi Arabia to consider using diplomacy rather than facing the Houthis head-on.
Assertions by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, a candidate for the presidency of FIFA, that he was not involved in the arrest and abuse of sports executives and athletes in his naïve Bahrain in 2011 raise more questions than answers.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa's candidacy for the presidency of world soccer body FIFA is likely to serve as a litmus test for newly introduced integrity checks on the group's executives.
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.
Israel's most notorious soccer fan group, La Familia, known for its militant racism against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, has put itself in the firing line as Israeli-Palestinian confrontations threaten to spark a third Intifada or popular Palestinian uprising on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.
For over ten years, we've been asking - begging - world leaders for a hero. Over a hundred Iraqi churches have been demolished. At least another hundred in Syria.
A staunch supporter of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, has called on the government to allow soccer fans, a pillar of anti-government protest, back into stadia that have largely been closed to the public for nearly five years.
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.
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 current protests in both Lebanon and Iraq indicate that the era of sectarian conflict is potentially taking a backseat for more unified nationalistic demonstrations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.