Religious tension leads to Iraq withdrawing from Gulf Cup soccer competition - New York News

Religious tension leads to Iraq withdrawing from Gulf Cup soccer competition

Updated:

By: Herb Scribner, Deseret News

Iraq has withdrawn from the Gulf Cup of Nations, putting the international soccer tournament in the middle of an Islāmic religious dispute.

The 2014 Gulf Cup, an international soccer tournament between countries from Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf, was originally going to be hosted in the southern city of Basra, but was moved to Saudi Arabia due to safety and infrastructure concerns, according to Al Jazeera.

Iraq, then, decided to boycott the tournament and has since dropped out of the running.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said in a weekly televised speech that the tournament change was "prejudiced against the rights of the Iraqi people,” Al Jazeera reported.

Writer James Dorsey said “sectarian divisions fuelling conflict across the Middle East have spilled on to the football pitch with Iraq's decision to boycott the Gulf Cup.”

Dorsey wrote the relationship between Iraq and Saudi Arabia has been severed since “Iraq's Shiite majority gained power after the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein's minority Sunni rule."

The article also said Saudi Arabia believes Iraq has “close ties to Iran” and has supported Syria, which has been mired in conflict in recent months.

FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, banned Iraq from hosting home matches due to security reasons. Earlier this year, though, the ban was dropped until recently when conflicts brewed up again in the country, according to Inside World Football.

Other nations included in this tournament are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which recently had its own dispute with Iran. Dorsey, the writer on Keir Radnedge, wrote that Iran was critical of the UAE renaming its premier soccer league as the Arabian Gulf League, seeing as Iran's top league is the Persian Gulf League.

In response and in another move in the war on semantics, “The Iranians blocked the transfer of Iranian players to UAE clubs and broke the contracts of those who had already moved,” Dorsey wrote.

"It is hard," he wrote, "to separate the divisions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims that governments in Bahrain and Syria have used to counter popular uprisings and that Saudi Arabia employs to stem the region's tidal wave of discontent and counter Iran in a struggle for regional hegemony from the soccer spat that has erupted in recent days."


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
  • Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:08:03 GMT
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
  • Bratton: 'not happy'

    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:48:41 GMT
    The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 
    The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices