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Qatar’s Winning of 2022 World Cup Produces First Peace Dividend

By James M. Dorsey On January - 22 - 2011
By James M. Dorsey The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog Qatar’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup appears to be producing its first peace dividend. As part of its need to put infrastructure for the tournament in place, Qatar has revived plans to build a bridge to the Gulf island state of Bahrain. That may not sound like a big deal but relations between the two states have been troubled by disputes over territory and fishing rights. Dubbed the "Friendship Bridge," Qatar and Bahrain first discussed plans to build the 40 kilometer-long bridge more than a decade ago. A 2001 ...

Somali Militants Assert Control by Banning Soccer

By James M. Dorsey On January - 14 - 2011
Somali Islamist militants this week imposed their puritan norms in areas over which they have recently gained control by outlawing the playing of soccer or watching the game on television. The ban is reminiscent of a similar edict issued by Al Shabab militants on the eve of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Somali news reports say the most recent ban was issued in the town of Afgooye, 30 kilometers northwest of the capital Mogadishu. Al Shabab, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia that is believed to have incorporated a number of non-Somali militants in its leadership, gained control of Afgooye last ...

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