Playing football with political map

Written by Mihir Vasavda
| New Delhi |
Published: May 18, 2018 1:16:40 am

Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi now plays for Qatari club Al Sadd, one of their many ways to use football as a tool to wield global influence. Saudi Arabia is keen to overtake Qatar’s off-field dominance. (Source: File)

A dimly-lit banquet hall of a hotel in Jeddah was an unlikely setting for a footballing rebellion. But last week, led by Saudi Arabia, office-bearers of 10 South and West Asian nations met in the port city, the outcome of which can potentially change the Asian football map. In a bid to strengthen their say in the continent’s football matters, Saudi Arabia have announced the formation of the South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF), claiming that 10 nations, including India, have agreed to be a part of it.

The move, seen as a consequence of…

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