Skip to main content


James Dorsey ( Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Soccer: A middle Eastern and North African Battlefield

A confrontation between autocratic Arab leaders and militant, highly politicized, street battle-hardened soccer fans that contributed to the toppling of former Egyptian and Tunisian presidents Mubarak and Ben Ali builds on a political tradition inherent in the game since introduction by the British. That tradition is rooted in the little recognized fact that the politics of soccer have played an important role in the development of several Middle Eastern and North African nations since the late 19th century. Politics moreover was associated with the founding of a large number soccer clubs in the region and underlies its foremost derbies, some of which rank among the worlds most violent.

Event details


Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies