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Entries Tagged as 'Dubai'

When Three Soccer Clubs Disappear in a Day

May 17th, 2017 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, Dubai, Fifa, Football, soccer, UAE

The most authentic sports experience in the United Arab Emirates is anything pertaining to the domestic soccer league — the Arabian Gulf League. It is a league overseen by Emiratis, largely staffed by Emiratis, featuring clubs overwhelmingly made up of Emirati footballers, and the whole of the league is largely watched by Emiratis, whether on […]

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Look Who Has a Job! Diego Maradona

May 14th, 2017 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, Dubai, Football, soccer, UAE

El Jefe Loco, as I liked to call him while writing my countdown-sa2010 blog, back when Diego Maradona was coaching Argentina ahead of the 2010 World Cup, is off the unemployment rolls. He has been hired to coach a club in the UAE. The biggest and best? Al Ain or Al Ahli? Well, no. One […]

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Smelly Feet and an Alleged Murder in Dubai

March 13th, 2017 · No Comments · Dubai, UAE

If you lack context, this will seem like a bizarre story. This story in The National describes an alleged murder in Dubai that stemmed from the victim being accused of having smelly feet. The word “disproportionate” springs to mind. If smelly feet were a capital crime, most adult males would risk assassination on a regular […]

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A Coach, and a Team, Struck Down on Verge of Breakthrough

November 28th, 2016 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Dubai, Football, soccer, The National

His given name was Luiz Carlos Saroli, but he was known by the informal Caio Junior, going back to his playing days in Portugal and his native Brazil. And that is how we referred to him in the pages of The National while he coached in the UAE. He died in a plane crash tonight, […]

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When You Didn’t See What You’ve Seen

October 10th, 2016 · 1 Comment · Abu Dhabi, Dubai, The National

Going back to the Abu Dhabi days here. In the UAE, daily English-language journalism is, 95 percent of the time, not dissimilar from English-language journalism in the U.S. or Britain. Timely, fact-based, well-sourced. But then there is that 5 percent when things get a bit squirrely, and you didn’t really see what you saw — […]

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Dubai’s Boss and the Empty Government Office

August 29th, 2016 · No Comments · Dubai, UAE

I love this story. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the ruler of Dubai and the UAE’s vice president, made some surprise visits to the city-state’s governmental agencies yesterday. At one municipality office, identified by The National as the Department of Economic Development, not a soul was to be found. During working hours. An embedded video went […]

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Ricardo Quaresma: From Dubai Rejection to Euro 2016 Hero

June 25th, 2016 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Barcelona, Dubai, Football, France, soccer, UAE

It was three years ago that I saw Ricardo Quaresma at what must have been his low ebb. This would have been in Abu Dhabi, in the stands at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, where I watching the final of the President’s Cup — which pitted Al Ahli and Al Shabab on a stultifying May evening. […]

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Quique! A Classy Coach Jettisoned by Delusional English Club

May 15th, 2016 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, Arsenal, Dubai, English Premier League, Football, soccer, Spain, The National, UAE

Ah, Quique Sanchez Flores. Here we are on Day 2 of My Favorite Soccer Coaches Roundup, which includes a certain Spanish player and coach who grew up wanting to be a sports writer. But more about that in a bit. I have been a fan of Quique Sanchez Flores from the moment he was named […]

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Dubai Finally Gets Around to a Big Stadium

May 6th, 2016 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Football, soccer, UAE

During six years following the sports scene in the United Arab Emirates, I often returned to one question: Why does Dubai not have a big stadium? Dubai has hundreds of big buildings, including the world’s tallest. Dubai loves big buildings. Much of its reputation is based on big buildings, and that skyline of skyscrapers. But […]

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Soccer Diplomacy Fails Saudi and Iranian Clubs

March 17th, 2016 · No Comments · Champions League, Dubai, Football, soccer

Just the other day I was thinking about how remarkable it is that nation states that don’t like each other often manage to go on playing soccer matches. I was thinking in particular of the Asian Champions League, which this year has three groups that include clubs from both Saudi Arabia and Iran — which […]

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