Bahrain, absolute monarchy and football update

This video says about itself:

No End to Torture in Bahrain

22 November 2015

Bahraini security forces are torturing detainees during interrogation. Institutions set up after 2011 to receive and investigate complaints lack independence and transparency.

Human Rights Watch has concluded that security forces have continued the same abuses the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) documented in its November 2011 report. The commission was established after the fierce repression of pro-democracy demonstrators in February and March of that year. Bahraini authorities have failed to implement effectively the commission’s recommendations relating to torture, Human Rights Watch found.

Bahrain rights group files complaint over Sheikh Salman FIFA bid. Group says head of Bahrain’s football association violated human rights in his capacity and should not be eligible to lead FIFA: here.

Bahrain group bids to block Sheikh Salman landing FIFA presidency. Sheikh Salman’s candidacy for the FIFA presidency is the subject of a legal complaint by a pro-democracy group from Bahrain: here.

FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali has questioned the role of election rival Sheikh Salman in not protecting Bahrain players who alleged abuses after pro-democracy protests in 2011. In the strongest statement yet on human rights ahead of the Feb. 26 election to succeed Sepp Blatter, the Jordanian prince dismissed the sheikh’s consistent defense that national security issues are beyond the control of sports leaders: here. See also here.

Sheikh Salman’s desire to bypass the democratic process does not bode well for his potential FIFA presidency: here.

Five Years After Failed Uprisings for Democratic Reform, New Blueprint Recommends United States Change Course in Bahrain: here.

Bahrain: hopes for justice and reform fading five years since 2011 uprising: here.

7 stories of shocking injustice: Bahrain after the ‘Arab Spring’: here.

Bahrain’s Prisons are Overcrowded with Prisoners of Conscience: here.

Dutch football cup semifinals

This video shows how professional football team FC Den Bosch on 3 February 2016 lost the cup match in their own stadium against the VVSB amateurs.

Before the match started, FC den Bosch blue and white flags with dragons, symbols of Den Bosch city, on the ground. Then, after the VVSB victory. The colours of VVSB, shown by their supporters, are purple and yellow. But as this was an away match, they played in black and white.

On Wednesday 2 March 2016, there will be the semifinals of the Dutch football cup.

In Utrecht city, FC Utrecht will play against the VVSB amateurs.

In Rotterdam, Feyenoord will play AZ Alkmaar.

Dutch VVSB amateur footballers to cup semifinals, video

This video is about 3 February 2016. When, as this blog blogged earlier, in Den Bosch city in the Netherlands amateur small town football club VVSB from Noordwijkerhout won, 3 goals against 2, against the favourite professional players of home team FC Den Bosch.

This video, by Delano Videoproducties, Voetbal in de Bollenstreek and Bollenstreek Omroep shows highlights of what happened before, during and after the match.

This means they are in the football cup semifinals. That happened only once before to an amateur club, in 1975.

Dutch amateur football club VVSB beats professionals, to cup semi finals

This video shows the decisive goal in the Dutch football cup match yesterday evening in Den Bosch city between the professionals of the local FC Den Bosch and the amateurs of VVSB (Football Club Saint Bavo) from Noordwijkerhout small town. Not one of the VVSB players had ever played professional football. The VVSB keeper of this game usually plays in the reserve team.

It is 2 goals for each team at the beginning of the video. Just three minutes before the end of the match. Then, the goalie of Den Bosch lets the ball go. And 21-year-old apprentice department store worker Maikey Parami scores the winning goal for the VVSB underdogs.

Maikey Parami

This video shows the VVSB team celebrating at the end of the match with their supporters who had traveled with them to Den Bosch. Den Bosch had admitted only a relatively small number of VVSB supporters to their stadium. Not more than 600.

This video shows 20 buses with VVSB supporters, departing from Noordwijkerhout to Den Bosch earlier yesterday. Fortunately, unlike in Kent in England, this time there were no nazis violently attacking these buses and daubing blood swastikas on them.

This video shows these supporters in Den Bosch at the end of the match, waving yellow and purple VVSB club flags.

As does this video.

And this video.

This video shows the VVSB players celebrating in the Den Bosch dressing room after their unexpected victory.

This video shows VVSB supporters, who had been unable to make the long journey to Den Bosch, celebrating in a café in Noordwijkerhout. THe VVSB club home was full, so some people had to go elsewhere.

And this video shows supporters seeing the match in the VVSB club home in Noordwijkerhout.

This video shows the return from Den Bosch to Noordwijkerhout of supporters and players.

This video shows the celebration after they had arrived.

Good to see that Big Money does not always win in football; as it unfortunately does at other times.

This video shows parts of the match, including all goals.

Already thirty minutes after the match had started, the local professional favourites had scored two goals. It stayed Den Bosch 2- VVSB 0 until ten minutes before the end of the second half.

Then, a VVSB goal by Tommy Bekooij. Then, a goal by substitute Peter van der Slot. Finally, Maikey Parami’s winning goal.

This video shows an interview with VVSB goal scorers Peter van der Slot and Maikey Parami.

This video shows another Maikey Parami interview.

And here is another Parami interview yet.

This victory means that VVSB is now among the four football clubs left to play in the cup semi finals. The other three are Feyenoord, AZ Alkmaar and either PSV or Utrecht who still have to play each other. Since the introduction of professional football in the Netherlands, only one amateur club had ever managed to come this far: IJsselmeervogels in 1975.

I have myself played in Noordwijkerhout against VVSB and have seen that the club generated big enthusiasm in this small town of 13,000 people. The capacity crowd of the bleachers in their small stadium De Boekhorst is 2,500 people. VVSB was founded in 1931. By nurses and other workers of the local psychiatric hospital Saint Bavo, hence the name. Members then paid 25 cents a month contribution.

This video is about VVSB.

VVSB sign

Racist football hooligans in Dutch The Hague

Riechedly Bazoer

This photo shows Dutch Ajax football club player Riechedly Bazoer. Riechedly Bazoer was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands. His parents came from Curaçao island in the Caribbean.

On 17 January 2016 in The Hague, Ajax played against ADO The Hague.

A minority of ADO The Hague fans are extreme right hooligans. They refer to themselves as ‘north side [bleachers] nazis’. They are anti-Semitic.

Whenever Riechedly Bazoer played the ball during the match, the self-styled nazis made ‘monkey-like’ noises, sang about bananas, and shouted that Mr Bazoer’s mother was supposedly a whore.

The Dutch public prosecution service will investigate whether any of the racists will be prosecuted.

Bahraini torture prince succeeding Blatter at FIFA?

This video says about itself:

E:60 – Taken / Athletes of Bahrain

8 November 2011

Produced by Yaron Deskalo of ESPN. Filmed and Edited by Evolve Digital Cinema.

What if a country’s biggest athlete, a legend, a hero, a player who brought the nation some of its biggest sporting moments, was at practice one day and was suddenly taken into custody by masked men? What if he was held for months, tortured, his career ended, banned from his team and for playing for his country, all because he expressed his political views? It’s not a storyline from a Hollywood script — that is what allegedly happened in Bahrain.

Specifically, it’s what Alaa Hubail says happened to him. Hubail is the most famous soccer player in Bahrain and says similar treatment was forced on his brother, Mohammad, also a member of Bahrain’s national soccer team; and to Anwar Al-Makki, Bahrain’s internationally ranked table-tennis champion. In a story largely ignored by the Western world, these athletes describe in detail the horrific torture they endured at the hands of their government — a government that is allied with the United States despite allegations of human rights abuses against pro-democracy protestors. E:60 goes to the Middle East for the first time to investigate how athletes were caught up in the clash of democracy, freedom, repression and politics. Jeremy Schaap reports.

From the International Business Times:

Sheikh Salman: Bahrain royal accused of ‘crimes against humanity’ favourite to replace Fifa’s Sepp Blatter

By Callum Paton

December 22, 2015 13:38 GMT

Fifa’s decision to immediately ban former president Sepp Blatter and Uefa president Michel Platini from football for eight years has renewed attention on Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa. President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Fifa presidential hopeful, the Bahraini royal is accused of crimes against humanity.

In the run up to February’s election for a Fifa president to replace Blatter, Salman is odds-on favourite at 6-5, ahead of Jordanian Prince Ali bin al-Hussein at 13-8, with UEFA’s general secretary Gianni Infantino 5-2, Reuters reported. Jerome Champagne is a 20-1 outsider, with South African Tokyo Sexwale at 25-1.

Blatter and Platini were found guilty of breaking Fifa’s code of conduct regarding a £1.3m ($2m) payment made to the Frenchman in 2011. Both have also received fines, with Blatter ordered to pay £33,700 and Platini £54,000. Defiant to the end, Blatter questioned his suspension saying he had become a punching bag.

Salman has been accused by local human rights groups in Bahrain and international organisations of crimes against humanity perpetrated during the country’s 2011 uprising which was put down with military help from Saudi Arabia.

In particular, Salman is alleged to have headed a committee which identified dissenting athletes and sports personalities in 2011 and then had them imprisoned and tortured.

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) has said 150 athletes, coaches and referees were jailed as a result of Salman’s actions. It said at least six members of the Bahraini national team were “defamed and tortured following their public identification and humiliation by authorities, including the Bahrain Football Association.”

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at BIRD, said: “In attempting to get rid of its corruption crisis Fifa is now set to replace one allegedly corrupt official with another. Salman is accused of involvement in a campaign of abuse against athletes in Bahrain, something Fifa is aware of and has refused to investigate. Salman’s appointment would be absurd.”

Ken Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch has said Fifa will sink even lower than its nadir under Blatter if it elects Salman. “Can Fifa stoop any lower? Yes, if it selects as its head [a] Bahrain sheikh complicit in torture,” he said.

Bahrainis Hold 25 Peaceful Protests during 1st Week of December; 13 Citizens Arrested: here.

Bahrain’s security forces have a detained a reporter following the publication of an article on a bill seeking to deprive families of state-provided homes if the household head has had his nationality revoked, according to local human rights activists: here.