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Held at the African Union headquarters on 19 and 20 May, this is the latest in a series of such seminars as FIFA works to implement a global licensing system, [...] “Through these seminars, we are seeking to extend our club licensing initiatives by sharing best practices with the goal of improving the standards of professional football and developing the game on the African continent. These efforts are at the heart of FIFA’s mission.”

Last October, President Xi visited the National Football Museum during his state visit to the UK. Moore recounted the cultural exchange: “I gave to the President as a gift from the National Football Museum a copy of the hand- written laws from 1863, and he gave me a gift of a replica Cuju ball.”

Fans at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

Rook Campbell on the pitfalls of sport diplomacy.

The FBI agents who broke the International Football Federation scandal in late May by getting a bunch of foreigners arrested in Switzerland are naturally convinced that their sole purpose is to combat corruption. American ideologues who advocate “R2P” – the “right and responsibility to protect” – have no doubt that U.S. armed intervention is a suitable way to protect human rights. Air Force officers who bomb people in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Yemen take it for granted that they are eliminating terrorism.

“It will blow over” tends to be Qatar’s unofficial response to criticism of its World Cup bid, but with a FIFA corruption scandal exploding onto the world’s front pages, the Gulf state has glumly realised it may have a real fight on its hands.

Super-rich Qatar would suffer no economic pain if it lost the right to host the world’s top soccer event. At stake is influence, including its use of sport as a platform to operate on the global stage, opening doors to finance, media, diplomacy, property and tourism.

PD News highlights the power and limitations of Soccer Diplomacy.

When a Palestinian motion to expel Israel from international soccer was scrapped last week at the 11th hour by the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials hailed the results as a victory for Israeli public diplomacy. “Our international effort proved itself and brought about the failure of the effort of the Palestinian Authority,” Netanyahu said of the push headed by former Palestinian Gen.

Israel to send its largest ever sport delegation to the first European Games in Baku Azerbaijan, June 12-18. While months of fighting by the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) to suspend Israel from international soccer competitions with FIFA has ended, Israeli diplomats have warned that the next battle is near, the Olympics, Israeli news site Ynet reported.

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