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Iraq has withdrawn from the Gulf Cup of Nations, putting the international soccer tournament in the middle of an Islāmic religious dispute.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

  • Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:22 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
  • Hoax 'swatting' call sends dozens of cops to LI home

    Hoax 'swatting' call sends dozens of cops to LI home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:43:53 GMT
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island, Tuesday afternoon thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games. "We received a phone call from a gentleman who stated he had just shot his mother and his brother," Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said. "Unfortunately, this is a terrible national problem for law enforcement."
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island, Tuesday afternoon thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games. "We received a phone call from a gentleman who stated he had just shot his mother and his brother," Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said. "Unfortunately, this is a terrible national problem for law enforcement."
  • NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:14 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:14:35 GMT
    An NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
    An NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
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