2011 has turned out to be a revolutionary year for the Middle East and other muslim countries. Not only within the political sphere where upheavals in several countries have led to regime changes and war-like situations but also in sport.
Play the Game has decided to take a closer look at the Middle East and the way in which sport plays a role politically by adding a Middle East theme to the Play the Game 2011 conference.
What may have appeared a fata morgana has become tangible reality: The Middle East has entered the international sports arena as a player you have to count in. With Qatar as the most visible example, Arab governments have invested huge amounts in getting control over big sports events, mega-brands, clubs and international federations. Their money seems abundant, but their image is under dispute: What is the Arab elite aiming at, what are their visions for world sport?
Sport also plays a vibrant role in others spheres of the Arab societies. The stadium is not only a sports field, but also a platform with a potential for politics, and football crowds seem to have played a role in the recent political uprisings.
A particular challenge is the role of women in countries where Islam is the predominant religion: Are women covered by the term “Sport for all”?
Theme articles by James Dorsey
The theme page is launched with an article suite by Middle East expert James M. Dorsey fucusing on the Middle East, North African uprisings, politics and football.