Middle East

English Premier League

Ouch: Arsenal Assist-King Mesut Ozil Gets Pawed In The Privates By Tiger (Video)

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After helping Arsenal to a second-place finish in the Premier League, playmaker Mesut Ozil has been taking some time out in the Middle-East before the beginning of EURO 2016. While in Dubai, the German schemer got up close and personal with a youngtiger, leaving the Gunners' star looking (understandably) uneasy.

Here Comes Everton

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Continuing a pattern of regression since their 5th place finish in the 2013-14 season, Everton is again disappointing in the Premier League. Everton's fall from England's elite has brought shadows of doubt and speculation regarding the team's future. However, bucking the trend, Everton was anything but disappointing on February 20th.

Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke named sixth most-powerful person in sports

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Arsenal's majority owner Stan Kroenke may rub many Arsenal supporters the wrong way due to his alleged penny-pinching and thrifty ways, but he must be doing something right. The 65-year-old was just recently named as the sixth most powerful person in the world of sports by the renowned Sports Illustrated magazine.

FIFA

What Qatar 2022 Means for Female Fans

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The Iranian film Offside focuses on a group of dedicated female Iranian football fans desperately trying to get into a World Cup qualifier match. While the film misses much of the presumably exciting competition between Iran and Bahrain, it succeeds in emphasizing Iranian women's place in their society outside of the immediate football stadium.

The Middle East Growing And Beginning To Assert Itself On The World Soccer Stage

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It seems that the ramifications of the FIFA vote in December 2010 to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar are still being felt across the football world. Whilst there was no denying it was a left field decision by the executive committee, it wasn't as if the Middle East had never held a sporting event previously.

Zahir Belounis: A Virtual Captive in Quatar

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A week ago, The Independent published an update about Zahir Belounis, a French Algerian footballer who is being held in Quatar in "virtual captivity" due to the same kafala system of visa sponsorship blamed for the mistreatment of Nepali immigrant workers. Belounis played for the El Jaish club in Quatar and will not be allowed to leave the country until he drops his case against the club over what he claims to be two years' worth of unpaid wages.

Qatari Foundations

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(This piece was originally published in the April 2013 issue of the Chimurenga Chronic)

A spectre is haunting European football – the spectre of Qatar. No holy alliance has emerged to respond to this rising power; indeed, it has been embraced by both established luminaries (Barcelona, Zidane) and by (hopeful) rising stars, such as the Paris Saint-Germain football club and now, in Belgium, Eupen.

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying – TV Listings – 11 September 2012

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Below are television listings for all the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying matches on September 11, 2012.

Chile v Colombia, 3:30 PM

beIN Sport (USA), Fox Sports (Latin America)

Uruguay v Ecuador, 5:30 PM

beIN Sport (USA), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Setanta Sports (Australia)

Paraguay v Venezuela, 7:25 PM

beIN Sport (USA), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Setanta Sports (Australia), Fox Sports (Australia)

Peru v Argentina, 9:25 PM

beIN Sport (USA), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Setanta Sports (Australia)

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AFC World Cup Qualifying – TV Listings – 11 September 2012

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Below are television listings for all the AFC World Cup Qualifying matches on September 11, 2012.

Japan v Iraq, 6:34 AM

Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Star Sports (Asia)

Uzbekistan v South Korea, 9:00 AM

Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Star Sports (Asia)

Lebanon v Iran, 10:00 AM

Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), ESPN (Asia), TV3 (Iran)

Jordan v Australia, 12:00 PM

Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Star Sports (Asia), Eurosport (Worldwide), Fox Sports (Australia)

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COMNEBOL World Cup Qualifying – TV Listings – 7 September 2012

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Below are television listings for all the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying matches on September 7, 2012.

Colombia v Uruguay, 4:30 PM

beIN Sport (USA/France), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Fox Sports (South America), SuperSport (Africa)

Ecuador v Bolivia, 5:00 PM

beIN Sport (USA/France), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Setanta Sports (Australia), SuperSport (Africa)

Argentina v Paraguay, 7:10 PM

beIN Sport (USA on tape delay), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Premier Sports (UK), SuperSport (Africa), Setanta Sports (Ireland), SBS One (UK), SuperSport (Africa)

Peru v Venezuela, 9:25 PM

beIN Sport (USA), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Fox Sports (South America), SuperSport (Africa), Setanta Sports (Australia)

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The Hijab on the Pitch

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(Article cross-posted from "Muslim Feminisms" forum at The Feminist Wire) Members of the Iranian National Women's Football team (Source: FIFPro)

On Friday, July 6, the French Football Federation announced that it would ban the wearing of hijab during all organized competitions held in France.

The Hijab on the Pitch

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(Article cross-posted from "Muslim Feminisms" forum at The Feminist Wire) Members of the Iranian National Women's Football team (Source: FIFPro) On Friday, July 6, the French Football Federation announced that it would ban the wearing of hijab during all organized competitions held in France. The Federation declared that in doing so it was fulfilling [.

AFC 2014 World Cup Qualifying – TV Listings – 8 June 2012

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Below are television listings for all the AFC (Asia) World Cup Qualifying matches on June 8, 2012. Times listed are EST or USA Eastern Standard Time.

Japan v Jordan, 06:30

Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East)

Oman v Australia, 09:00

Fox Sports (Middle East), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East)

Lebanon v Uzbekistan, 10:00

Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East)

Qatar v South Korea, 12:15

Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East)

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Middle East Looms Large at FIFA Executive Committee Meeting

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The Middle East and North Africa loom large as FIFA's executive committee meets in Zurich this week against the backdrop of calls to investigate Qatar's bid to host the 2022 World Cup and blatant political interference in Egyptian soccer, says writer James Dorsey.

Muslim Players Win Hijab Battle in Struggle for Women’s Rights

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Observant Muslim women soccer players won a first victory on Saturday with the endorsement by the International Football Association Board's decision to allow the players to test specially designed headscarves for the next four months.

Culture

Low Football: Finding Israel’s Jewish and Palestinian...

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Low Football: Finding Israel's Jewish and Palestinian diversity through lower-league football

In the midst of ongoing turmoil that never seems any nearer to a solution, it can be tempting to assume that Israel is a nation so enveloped by cultural conflict, that every interaction between Israelis and Palestinians is colored by an underlying tension that prevents any sort of mutual understanding.

Becoming a professional footballer in Kabul, as an...

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Becoming a professional footballer in Kabul, as an American

"My mind was racing and I doubt much of what I said made sense. I was confused: I couldn't grasp whether I was disappointed that I got caught going to Ghazi Stadium, or that I was juvenile enough to risk a job for football, or that I was in a position where one had to risk a job in order to play football.

“It’s like a lover has returned” Gesturing toward the sea of...

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"It's like a lover has returned"

Gesturing toward the sea of people and the thousands of fluttering black, red and white Iraqi flags, Mr. Shamki said: "You don't know who is Sunni or Shia or Christian. They are just chanting for Iraq." The fans also cheered for something more, at one point breaking into the chant, "Sunnis and Shiites, we are all brothers!

Real Madrid’s Island Resort. No no, seriously. This is...

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Real Madrid's Island Resort.

No no, seriously. This is happening. Let's get the facts out of the way first...

  • It's a $1 billion holiday resort in the United Arab Emirates
  • It's set to open in 2015
  • The funding will be supported by the government of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah
  • It includes a marina, luxury hotels and villas, an amusement park, a club museum and a futuristic 10,000-seat stadium with one side open to the sea
  • The resort is expect to attract one million visitors in 2015 alone
  • There will be evil clones of all the players strewn across the island* (*not even remotely true, at least until 2019)

First of all, my mind is blown at the mere prospect of a Real Madrid resort, never mind an amusement park with rollercoasters.

Lionel Messi

Video: Israeli president Shimon Peres fires the ball at Lionel Messi’s crotch

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Shimon Peres made a mockery of Barcelona's pre-season 'Peace Tour' of the Middle East by launching a surface-to-crotch missile attack an Lionel Messi. The Israeli president proved that his footballing ability is not quite on par with Messi's. Tasked with the simple task of passing the ball to the Argentine star for a photo opportunity, [.

“Both Leo Messi And Ronaldo Should Come To Anzhi”, Says Roberto Carlos

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Ever since Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos crossed over to Russia to take over the dubious Anzhi 101 project, everyone seemingly forgot him. So it's sad that Carlos who is now a manager alongside head trainer Guus Hiddink had to force his way into the Spanish press again in order to stay relevant.

Facebook

International Friendlies – Television Listings – 11 September 2012

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Below are television listings for all the international friendlies on September 11, 2012.

Czech Republic v Finland, 12:00 PM

CT4 Sport (Czech Republic), Nelonen Pro 1 (Finland),

Ireland v Oman, 2:30 PM

Setanta Sports (Ireland), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), TV2 (Oman)

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German Bundesliga – TV Listings – 24 August 2012

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Below are television listings for all the German Bundesliga matches on August 24, 2012.

Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen, 2:30 PM (USA EST)

GolTV (USA/Canada), C+ (Spain), ARD Das Erste (Germany), ESPN (UK/China/Africa/Carribean), SuperSport (Africa), Sport TV2 (Portugal), Dubai Sports 1 (Middle East), Sport 1 (Netherlands/Israel), EuroSport (Europe)

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French Ligue 1 – TV Listings – 24 August 2012

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Below are television listings for all the French Ligue 1 matches on August 24, 2012.

Evian v Lyon, 2:45 PM (USA EST)

beIN Sport (USA), Al Jazeera Sport (Middle East), Arena Sport (Croatia/Serbia), C+ (Poland), Sport Italia 2 (Italy), Sport TV4 (Portugal), ESPN (UK/South America)

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Chelsea v Paris St-Germain – TV Listings – World Football Challenge – 22 July 2012

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Chelsea play their second match of their 2012 USA pre-season tour against French side Paris St-Germain on July 22, 2012. The match is part of the World Football Challenge featuring teams from across Europa and North America.

Below are television listings for the match and times listed are USA Eastern.

Spanish Football

Arsenal Closing In On Malaga Winger Santi Cazorla

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Spanish international Cazorla, who was part of Spain's Euro 2012 winning squad, is being targeted by Arsenal in a £16m move from cash-strapped Malaga.

Arsenal were interested in Cazorla last season before he joined Malaga from Villarreal. But with Malaga imploding financially, despite being owned by petro-dollars, are seemingly interested in selling Cazorla for around £16m.

FRIENDLY GAME | KUWAIT 0 REAL MADRID 2

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With the SPANISH FOOTBALL LEAGUE title in one pocket REAL MADRID travelled to the Middle-East to fill the other pocket with 3M€ with a "Friendly-Exhibition" game against the KUWAIT National Football Team. CR7 The Spanish Club took 22 players & all 22 played during the 90th mins with 2 distinct line-ups in each half.

sky sports

Harry Redknapp thinks the Champions League is overrated

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Despite finishing fourth in the Premier League, Spurs had their return to the Champions League taken away when fifth-place Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the Champions League final. You might think that this would be painful for the club and manager Harry Redknapp, but it just so happens ol' 'Arry has decided the competition he was overjoyed to qualifying for two years ago is no longer that big a deal.

Gordon Smith Rules Out Liverpool Role

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Former Rangers director Gordon Smith has formally withdrawn his interest in becoming Liverpool's new director of football.
The Anfield club's structure is set to be altered in the coming weeks and the Merseysiders' American owners are keen to introduce three sporting directors to work above new manager Brendan Rodgers.

World Soccer

Mounting Israeli Soccer Violence Reflects Fading Hope in Peace

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A stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process and increased racism in Israeli soccer both signal that hope for a lasting solution in the region is fading, says writer James Dorsey.

Real Madrid unveils plans for $1 billion resort island in United Arab Emirates

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Real Madrid has been known to push the envelope, whether it be with luring the world's top players, or signing expressive coaches in an effort to remain at the forefront of world soccer. What the club has up its sleeve now certainly ups the ante in that regard.

The Spanish power unveiled plans for a $1 billion island resort in the United Arab Emirates that is due to open in January, 2015.

Syrian TV Accuses FC Barcelona of Aiding Rebels

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State-run Syrian Al Dunya television has accused traditionally left-wing leaning Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona of employing its tactical formations to deliver coded messages to armed Syrian rebels, says writer James Dorsey.

Lebanese Victory Boosts National Unity and Spotlights Gulf Problems

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By advancing to the final Asian qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup, the Lebanese squad cemented soccer's role as a rallying point for a country divided by years of bitter civil war and afraid that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown could spill into the streets of Lebanese cities.

The Rest

Chelsea skipper John Terry set for new contract

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Jose Mourinho has given the nod for John Terry to be offered a new deal at Chelsea. The Blues boss has been convinced that his skipper has still got what it takes to perform at the top level based on his performances so far this season. Terry, aged 33, was being linked with a move [...]

Depuis 2001, la grande majorité du d

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Depuis 2001, la grande majorité du discours au sujet de l'Afghanistan qui se passe aux Etats-Uniss'oriente autour du terrorisme et de la guerre. Ainsi, c'est parfois trop facile de penser quel'Afghanistan est un terrain vague, une zone de combat sous l'influence des barbares. Cette perception de l'Afghanistan est malheureusement incorrecte; la moindre des choses, c'est une description incomplète.

Noticias : Women’s Football Development Is Still Culture Oriented & Notes From The Middle East!

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First and foremost los chicos, sorry for the lapse in posts! The Futbolita team is currently in Bahrain for an AFC Conference (not to bask in the Gulf sun, if that's what you're thinking) as part of our Women's Football research and (also) partly to look for Arabic coffee.

Galaxy sign Swedish World Cup veteran midfielder Wilhelmsson

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In what appears to be a short-term deal given his resume, the Galaxy announced today they had signed 32-year-old Christian Wilhelmsson who had trained with the club since last week on trial after spending time with two clubs in the Middle East. The much-traveled former Anderlecht star played Tuesday against

POTD : Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic Reunite At Paris Saint-Germain

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Paris Saint-Germain's latest signing, Thiago Silva, enjoyed a mini 'reunion' of sorts with his former fellow AC Milan teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the Camp des Loges training center in the outskirts of Paris today. It's a case of same face, different circumstances for the new recruits of the Qatari-owned club and although this has happened in football, it is admittedly rare!

Indonesia Not Ready For Palestine

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My latest contribution for the Jakarta Globe looks at Indonesia's preparations, or lack thereof, for their trip to the Middle East. Check it out here...

Egyptian League Cancelled for Security and Political Reasons

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The Egyptian Football Association, acting on instructions of the interior ministry, has cancelled the rest of this season's league matches in the wake of rioting at a match last month that killed 74 people and injured hundreds of others in a move that is apparently designed to further isolate militant soccer fans.