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Category: Middle East and North Africa

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F1 finally admits concern over woman jailed for Bahrain Grand Prix protests

• Najah Yusuf jailed for three years over 2017 protests• F1 says it is making ongoing enquiries in BahrainFormula One chiefs have admitted for the first time that they are “concerned” that an activist who protested against the Bahrain Grand Prix on Fac…

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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal showdown in Saudi Arabia called off

• World’s top two were due to meet in Jeddah on 22 December• Match attracted controversy after Jamal Khashoggi’s murderThe doomed December exhibition match in Saudi Arabia next month between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal has been called off. The Span…

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Mohamed Salah statue mocked by fans as striker gets Ronaldo treatment

The work unveiled in Egypt captures Liverpool striker’s trademark pose – but not necessarily his likenessA statue of Liverpool’s star striker Mohamed Salah has been unveiled in his home country of Egypt, drawing unfavourable comparisons with the much-r…

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Team Syria: the side giving hope and purpose to refugees in Coventry | Nick Miller

Mustafa escaped Homs three years ago with nothing but playing in the final of the Communities World Cup at St George’s Park has helped rebuild his life“I left because of the war. My city is very dangerous. I lost everything. I lost my house, my car, my…

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BBC and Sky call for EU crackdown on Saudi pirate TV service

Broadcasters highlight ‘threat’ from BeoutQ, which provides illegal access to content such as Premier League gamesThe BBC and Sky have called on the European commission to take formal action against Saudi Arabia over a pirate TV and streaming service t…

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BBC and Sky call for EU crackdown on Saudi pirate TV service

Broadcasters highlight ‘threat’ from BeoutQ, which provides illegal access to content such as Premier League gamesThe BBC and Sky have called on the European commission to take formal action against Saudi Arabia over a pirate TV and streaming service t…

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Saudi scheme shows Fifa remains the world’s most expensive laundry service | Marina Hyde

Gianni Infantino’s nonsensical insistence that Fifa is non-political continues the work of his predecessor, Sepp BlatterIf only Fifa had a vice president in charge of delivering that classic line of movie cliche: “You don’t know who you’re dealing with…

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Qatar World Cup workers still exploited, says Amnesty report

Charity says promised government reforms to ‘kafala’ system have not taken place Migrant workers building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup and other big projects in Qatar are still suffering exploitation and severe human rights violations despite …

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Six years after the Port Said riot, Egypt’s fans return to the stadiums

Supporters are allowed to watch domestic games regularly for the first time since 2012 but they have to give details to the security services – and chanting could be monitoredWhen Egyptian spectators returned to the stands for a match between Zamalek F…

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Mohamed Salah blames Egypt’s FA for hampering World Cup preparations

Liverpool star says celebrities were among ‘many disturbances’ at team’s Chechen training baseThe Liverpool and Egypt footballer Mohamed Salah has accused the Egyptian Football Association of hampering the country’s World Cup preparations in Russia ear…

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Premier League​ games ‘screened illegally via Saudi satellite firm’

UK body representing top 20 clubs says it has compelling evidence of year-long piracy operationA Saudi government-owned satellite firm is linked to the illegal screening of Premier League football matches across the Middle East and north Africa, the Pr…

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Qatar 2022 bid team ‘sabotaged World Cup rivals’

Whistleblower tells Sunday Times that PR agency and former CIA operatives spread fake propagandaThe Qatar 2022 World Cup bid team broke Fifa rules by running a secret campaign to sabotage their rivals for the tournament, it has been claimed. The claims…

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Football and fat fees: questions raised over funding of sporting conference

Was ‘sports integrity’ event that repeatedly questioned 2022 World Cup decision funded by Qatar rivals?After Russia’s wildly successful World Cup, the eyes of the sporting world have turned to the next host, Qatar – and a recent event in London gave an…

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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 …