The Qatar World Cup: Dreaming of Bridging the Gulf Rift

By James M. Dorsey

With the 2022 World Cup in Qatar only two years away, and a resolution of the three-year-old Gulf rift nowhere in sight, government officials, soccer governance executives, and pundits are playing with the notion that the tournament could serve as an icebreaker in the dispute between Qatar and its detractors, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain.

It is a notion that is grounded in the long-standing illusion that soccer can drive events and in and of itself build bridges…



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James M. Dorsey

James is an award-winning journalist covering ethnic and religious conflict. He blogs using soccer as a lens on the Middle East and North Africa's fault lines