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Qatar World Cup

Soccer Soft Power: A Double-Edged Sword

James Dorsey | Posted 01.22.2015 | Sports
James Dorsey

An avalanche of criticism of FC Bayern Muenchen, a leading soccer brand and Germany's most successful club, for playing a commercially driven friendly against Saudi Arabia's FC Al Hilal amid a crackdown on dissent in the kingdom.

GCC Abandonment of Unified Labour Contract Puts Onus on Qatar

James Dorsey | Posted 01.06.2015 | World
James Dorsey

A decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to abandon plans to adopt a unified contract for domestic workers increases pressure on Qatar to significantly revamp its controversial labour regime in a bid to fend off efforts to deprive it of its right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar gambles that labour reforms will satisfy critics

James Dorsey | Posted 12.29.2014 | World
James Dorsey

2022 World Cup host Qatar has announced a series of reforms to improve working and living conditions of its majority migrant labour population that address material concerns but fall short of recommendations made in a government-sponsored study and demands of trade union and human rights activists.

Potential UK Club Acquisition Could Help Qatar Polish Its Image

James Dorsey | Posted 12.21.2014 | World
James Dorsey

A Qatari acquisition of Tottenham would no doubt at least temporarily refocus some of the negative reporting on the country. But it could also revive assertions that wealthy Gulf countries are seeking to launder their reputations through soccer acquisition.

Gulf Human Rights Declaration Increases Heat on Qatar to Act on Migrant Workers' Rights

James Dorsey | Posted 12.18.2014 | World
James Dorsey

The adoption of a human rights declaration by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that was designed to shield wealthy Gulf monarchies including 2022 World Cup host Qatar from criticism by human rights and trade union activists is likely to increase pressure on the sports-focused Gulf state to significantly alter its controversial migrant labour system.

Angry Saudi Soccer Clubs Pinpoint Gulf Labor Market Contradictions

James Dorsey | Posted 12.04.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Mounting anger among Saudi soccer clubs at their subjugation to quotas designed to encourage employment of Saudi nationals and reduce dependence on foreign labour illustrates problems encountered by wealthy Gulf countries in balancing the contradictory demands of labour markets.

FIFA Refuses To Help World Cup Workers

AP | Posted 12.02.2014 | Sports

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — FIFA president Sepp Blatter says the welfare of migrant workers involved in building facilities for the 2022 World Cup in ...

Gulf Agreement on Improved Migrant Worker Conditions Unlikely to Fend Off Activist Pressure

James Dorsey | Posted 12.02.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Wealthy Gulf nations have agreed on measures to improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers who constitute a substantial segment, if not the majority, in a number of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

Likely Qatar Deportation of Striking Workers Raises Concerns

James Dorsey | Posted 11.29.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Qatar is signaling rejection of demands by human rights and trade union activists to grant trade union and collective bargaining rights to its majority migrant worker population with the detention and likely deportation of more than 100 predominantly South Asian laborers.

Activists Expand Labor and Human Rights Campaign Beyond Qatar to Include All Gulf States

James Dorsey | Posted 01.23.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Human rights groups and trade unions have stepped up pressure on Qatar to reform its restrictive labour system and expanded their campaign to include all six wealthy members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Gulf Soccer Diplomacy Highlights Regional Divisions

James Dorsey | Posted 01.18.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Wealthy Gulf states have invited Jordan and Morocco to compete in future Gulf Cups as part of a bid to strengthen their fragile six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at a time that they have at best papered over deep rifts within the group.

Qatar Will Try To Get 'Creative' To Allow Gay Fans At World Cup

AP | JOHN LEICESTER and ROB HARRIS | Posted 11.14.2014 | Sports

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar's sports minister says the 2022 World Cup will set a benchmark of excellence that will be "almost impossible to beat" and p...

Qatar at a Crossroads: Reform Labour Laws or Risk Revived Calls for Relocating the World Cup

James Dorsey | Posted 01.12.2015 | Sports
James Dorsey

Qatar, caught in a Catch-22 between a requirement to quickly reform its labour system in a bid to convince human rights and trade union activists that it is serious and the need domestically to proceed slowly, risks losing goodwill it has built in recent years.

Study Asserts That Controversial Gulf Labor Regime Reduces Global Inequality

James Dorsey | Posted 01.10.2015 | World
James Dorsey

With the absence of labor rights in the Gulf under fire as a result of Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, Gulf states are likely to take heart from a recent study that asserts that authoritarian regimes in the oil-rich Middle East and China have contributed more to the eradication of global inequality than Western nations.

Sponsorship of FIFA: a new front in Gulf political rivalry

James Dorsey | Posted 01.04.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Lurking in the background of world soccer body FIFA's talks with Qatar Airways to replace its Dubai rival Emirates as a sponsor is the escalating hostility between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as a result of their divergent attitudes towards political Islam.

Bahrain rattled by UK court's opening of door to investigation of torture allegations

James Dorsey | Posted 12.21.2014 | World
James Dorsey

By James M. Dorsey A failed effort by a public relations company representing Bahrain and a UK law firm acting on behalf of Prince Nasser bin Hamad a...

Dave Jamieson

FIFA Is Keeping Its Corruption Report Secret

HuffingtonPost.com | Dave Jamieson | Posted 10.02.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Joining a growing international chorus, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) on Thursday asked soccer's international governing body to release the fi...

Gulf Proxy War: UAE Seeks to Further Damage Qatar's Already Tarnished Image

James Dorsey | Posted 11.28.2014 | World
James Dorsey

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are locked into a propaganda war with public relations agencies and front organizations as proxies that is backfiring on both Gulf states.

Israel Mobilizes to Deprive Qatar of the World Cup

James Dorsey | Posted 11.22.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Israel appears to be mobilizing a grassroots campaign against Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup as part of the Jewish state's effort to isolate Hamas, the Islamist militia that controls the Gaza Strip, and bolster the fortunes of the Palestine Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas.

FIFA Executive Says He Doesn't Think 2022 World Cup Will Be In Qatar

Reuters | Posted 11.22.2014 | Sports

* Zwanziger is member of FIFA Executive Committee * Plans under way to shift World Cup to European winter (Updates with FIFA reaction...

Brits' Disappearance Casts Shadow Over Qatari World Cup Efforts and Shines Light on UAE

James Dorsey | Posted 11.04.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Krisna Upadhyaya and Gundev Ghimire, British nationals of Nepalese origin, vanished in Doha as they were about to leave for the airport. They were in Qatar to investigate labour rights on behalf of the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), a Norway-based group with alleged links to the UAE.

Saudi-Qatari Rivalry Spills onto the Soccer Pitch

James Dorsey | Posted 10.31.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Unable to persuade Qatari leaders to drop their support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups, Saudi Arabia appears determined to deprive its tiny neighbor of its regional soccer supremacy.

Qatar's New World Cup City Is A Modern Marvel

The Huffington Post | Suzy Strutner | Posted 08.25.2014 | Travel

Qatar is going HUGE for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In preparation to host soccer's most major event, the Qatari government has shelled out an estimat...

Gulf States and Their U.S. Critics Seek to Shape U.S. Perceptions on the Soccer Pitch

James Dorsey | Posted 10.20.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Both Qatar and the UAE have been in the firing line for their treatment of foreign workers who constitute a majority of their populations but operate under a sponsorship or kafala system that puts them at the mercy of their employers.

Saudi Efforts to Professionalize Soccer Marred by Politics

James Dorsey | Posted 10.11.2014 | Sports
James Dorsey

Efforts to professionalize soccer in Saudi Arabia in advance of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are marred by efforts to maintain political control of the game, a lack of transparency and accountability, and disputes between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.