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Category: Middle East and North Africa

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Saudi woman to drive Formula One car to mark end of ban

Aseel Al Hamad to take lap of Le Castellet circuit ahead of French Grand PrixAseel Al Hamad is to make a further breakthrough for Saudi Arabian women by driving a Formula One car ahead of the French Grand Prix. The lap of the Le Castellet circuit comes…

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Iran’s female football supporters make history at World Cup stadium screening

Ban on attending sporting events at stadiums lifted to allow women in Tehran to watch Iran v SpainIran’s female football supporters have made history in Tehran – for the first time in 37 years they were able to attend a sporting event in the Azadi stad…

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‘The fact we exist is huge’: Iran’s women plotting course to world stage

Twelve years ago Kat Khosrowyar arrived in Iran on holiday. Now she’s driving a revolution in women’s football thereTo say things have changed for women’s football in Iran since Katayoun Khosrowyar first arrived in the country more than 12 years ago wo…

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A win against England would put Arab spring in Tunisia’s step

National side to play in the World Cup for first time since jasmine revolutionTaher Lwati sat outside a toyshop on one of the quiet avenues that crisscross central Tunis, soaking up the warm evening air and ruminating on the chances of an unlikely foot…

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World Cup opener guest list set to be largely ex-Soviet affair

Kremlin’s list of ceremony invitees includes central Asian autocrats plus Saudi prince Mohammed bin SalmanVladimir Putin’s strained ties with leaders across the western world means the audience of presidents and prime ministers for the World Cup opener…

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Iran coach Queiroz demands apology as Nike refuse to supply World Cup boots

• ‘This arrogant conduct against 23 boys is absolutely ridiculous’• President Trump reimposed sanctions against Iran in MayThe Iran head coach, Carlos Queiroz, has demanded an apology from Nike after the US sportswear firm said it could not supply the …

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Roman Abramovich ‘granted Israeli citizenship’

Russia-born Chelsea FC owner to move to Tel Aviv after problems renewing UK visa, Israeli media reportsRoman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea football club, has been granted Israeli citizenship and will move to Tel Aviv, according to local …

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Mo Salah scores again as boots enter British Museum collection

Donation of record-breaking Liverpool player’s mint green footwear part of Egypt projectA pair of Mohamed Salah’s mint green football boots are to enter the collection of the British Museum, to be displayed next to ancient Egyptian sandals in a gallery…

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Israeli football club renames itself Beitar Trump Jerusalem after ‘courageous’ president

Six-time Premier League champion have ‘greatest love’ for TrumpMove made after president moves US embassy to JerusalemAs Jerusalem prepares for the inauguration of its new US embassy on Monday, the city’s best football team has announced it is renaming…

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Child’s tears spark weightlifting protest that raises bar for Iran’s sportswomen

Officials are finally allowing females to compete after the banning of two young girls caused global embarrassmentIf you are good at weightlifting in Iran, you can become as rich as a Premier League footballer. The country boasts 300 professional weigh…

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Qatar stadium where UK worker died was ‘downright dangerous’

British coroner says Zac Cox given substandard equipment by managers at World Cup venueThe only western construction worker killed in the building of World Cup stadiums in Qatar was provided with substandard equipment by managers who should have known …

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The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s angry young men

Algeria’s ‘lost generation’ has been shaped by years of conflict, unemployment and state repression. Sheep fighting offers an arena where men can escape the constant supervision of the state. By Hannah Rae ArmstrongLast August in Algiers, one week befo…

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Iran furious as athletes miss out on Winter Olympics smartphones

Row after Iranian Olympians in South Korea were not given gift of latest Samsung handsetsIran has summoned South Korea’s envoy after its athletes at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics were not included in a giveaway of Samsung smartphones, apparently beca…

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Saudi football stadium welcomes women for first time

Al-Ahli v Al-Batin match at Jeddah stadium makes history as first to allow women to sit in designated family standsSaudi women have attended a football match in Saudi Arabia for the first time, as part of reforms spearheaded by the kingdom’s crown prin…

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Omani football fans injured as stadium’s glass barrier breaks

About 40 people hurt during celebrations following Oman’s victory over United Arab Emirates in Gulf Cup final in KuwaitAlmost 40 football fans from Oman have been injured in Kuwait after a glass barrier broke during celebrations following the country’s…

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Chess champion to miss Saudi Arabia tournament over women’s rights

Anna Muzychuk won’t defend her titles because she doesn’t want to be treated like a ‘secondary creature’Two-time world chess champion Anna Muzychuk has said she will not attend a tournament held in Saudi Arabia because of the way the kingdom treats wom…

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Manchester City’s plan for global domination

Football has already been transformed by big money – but the businessmen behind Man City are trying to build a global corporation that will change the game for ever. By Giles TremlettOn 19 December 2009, Pep Guardiola stood and wept in the middle of Za…

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Qatar World Cup bosses offer no explanation for British worker’s death

Zac Cox’s relatives have waited 10 months for official account of why he died in accident at Khalifa stadiumA 10-month effort to find out how a Briton was killed while building Qatar’s Khalifa stadium for the World Cup has been met with a wall of silen…

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Saudi Arabia to allow women into sports stadiums as reform push intensifies

Announcement that sporting events will be open to women for first time comes a month after historic decision to allow women to driveSaudi Arabia will allow women into sports stadiums for the first time from next year, authorities said Sunday, in a land…

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Qatar World Cup workers’ rights to improve with end of kafala system, claims union

• System described as modern slavery by trade union body• News greeted cautiously by expert on migrant workers’ issues in the GulfThe International Trade Union Confederation claims to have secured the agreement of the government in Qatar to significant…