Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Soccer and Politics in the Arab Middle-East

After an Iraki singer made it to the last round of the very famous "Star Academy show" aired by Lebanese satellite channel LBC, the victory of the national soccer team at the Asian soccer cup was a rare opportunity in Irak for manifestations of joy and national pride and unity (that the last goal was the result of a joined action between sunni, kurdish and shiite players!)

But war is also on the football fields. For example in Turkey where a clash between two players, one Israeli and the other Egyptian in September 2006 just after the Israeli bombardments in Lebanon has led to riots.

In Israel too, political issues are obviously at stake when it comes to sport, for instance when the Bitar Club, supported by the right wing, meets the surprisingly successful "Son of Sakhneen" team, supported by the so-called "Arab Israelis".

Then there is the incredible story published in the Israeli Yediot Aharonot some time ago about two Brasilian twins playing, one for an Israeli team and the other for a Syrian one! Is this the New Middle-East?

To read the original post in french

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