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.
Soccer is the shining example of U.S. sports trends today -- it's getting more serious, with youth clubs scrambling for places in national competitions, while fewer kids are playing.
Forty percent of the public says football is their favorite sport to watch, making it roughly four times more popular than any other sport. Even so, the dominance of football in American culture should not be taken for granted.
The United Kingdom's search for Jihadi John, the masked, British-accented fighter who appears in videos and beheading of foreigners condemned to death by the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq, has highlighted the significance for militants of soccer as a recruitment and bonding tool.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has dropped any pretention of standing up for universal standards for equality in sports by endorsing bans on women attending soccer matches in stadia.
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.
These soccer balls will make a very unique journey around the world to reach the hands of children of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.
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.
A Turkish Football Federation (TFF) decision to penalize a third tier soccer club in the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir for adopting a Kurdish name reflects mounting tension in south-eastern Turkey.
On weekends, impromptu rallies may elicit the occasional interest of passers-by. At one point, I came upon a group of nationalists in Maidan square flanked by Ukrainian blue and yellow banners and a rather sinister-looking bunch of men in sunglasses.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's illiberal policies have targeted the media, the judiciary, the police, militant soccer fans, and anti-government protesters. Now they threaten to claim yet another victim: the game of football itself.
A herd of goats lazily wandered through, and the fact that the town's water had gone out coupled with the blazing heat made us wonder who would come. Cora would be one of them.
A pre-teen female player has attracted widespread attention with her fight to overturn a clerical ban on her right to play football alongside boys in a co-ed league.
Kuwait may have scored the first goal against Australia in the opening match of the Asian Cup but when the match ended 4:1 in favor of the Australian hosts the message was not simply a defeat on the pitch. It highlighted the importance/impact of Middle Eastern politics on the region's game.
Why is it that the fun and satisfaction of participating in sports overwhelms our recognition that they could significantly destroy our body, be it the knee or the brain? The answer, I believe, is that as athletes we just can't comprehend the impact of the damage.
FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein's announcement that he will challenge the world soccer body's four-time president Sepp Blatter in elections later this year has definitively turned the poll into a battle for the group's future.