Latest Bahrain news

  • French courtship of Gulf monarchies is risky: experts
    French courtship of Gulf monarchies is risky: experts 16 hours ago

    Hungry for defence deals, France has cosied up to the Gulf monarchies, winning several billion-euro contracts in the process, but its strategy of backing one side in the region's Sunni-Shia power struggle is risky, say experts. More »

  • Iran leader says US backing 'immense crimes' in Yemen
    Iran leader says US backing 'immense crimes' in Yemen 17 hours ago

    Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday accused the United States of supporting "immense crimes" in Yemen by Saudi Arabia, which is leading an air war against Tehran-backed rebels. More »

  • Motor racing-Alonso back in the Spanish spotlight
    Motor racing-Alonso back in the Spanish spotlight 17 hours ago

    By Alan Baldwin BARCELONA (Reuters) - While Lewis Hamilton chases his fourth victory in five races in Barcelona this weekend, much of the immediate attention at the Spanish Grand Prix will be on a home hero with no hope of winning. Bookmakers were last week offering better odds, before the birth, on Britain's latest royal baby being named Macbeth than on Fernando Alonso's McLaren team winning at the Circuit de Catalunya. They are now a more reasonable 250-1 on the Spaniard, winner in Barcelona with Ferrari in 2013 and Renault in 2006, and team mate Jenson Button although just getting into the points for the first time this year will be a big step up for the ex-champions. More »

  • McLaren Choose Dazzle-Free Livery For Spain
    McLaren Choose Dazzle-Free Livery For Spain 21 hours ago

    McLaren's Honda-powered MP4-30 will sport a "dynamic" and "predatory" new look at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix in place of the previous chrome livery. The team decided that sunlight, as well as the floodlights that were used at the recent Bahrain GP, caused reflection problems, so Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will be racing in graphite-coloured cars in Barcelona. The car might look the part at the Circuit de Catalunya, but the big question ahead of the first race of the European season is whether it can go any faster. More »

  • FIFA give Indonesia new deadline, fans want intervention
    FIFA give Indonesia new deadline, fans want intervention 21 hours ago

    FIFA have told Indonesia to resolve their soccer administration row by the end of the month or face suspension, with angry fans of local club Persija demonstrating in Jakarta and demanding president Joko Widodo intervene. The dispute between the football association (PSSI) and the Sports and Youth Ministry over who is eligible to compete in the Indonesian Super League (ISL) escalated to the extreme last week with the PSSI cancelling the season after being suspended by the government. World governing body FIFA, who have been monitoring the situation for weeks along with the Asian Football Confederation, wrote to the PSSI on Monday warning the Sports Ministry of an immediate suspension if they did not back down by May 29. The letter, also sent to the National Sports Council (KONI), was from FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, the Jakarta Post reported on Wednesday. More »

  • Saudi king warns of Iran threat, rebels hit border town
    Saudi king warns of Iran threat, rebels hit border town Tue, May 5, 2015

    Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Tuesday urged his fellow Gulf leaders to stand up to Iran, as Yemeni rebels backed by Tehran bombarded a Saudi border city. More »

  • Iran's Rouhani denounces boasting over arms deals
    Iran's Rouhani denounces boasting over arms deals Tue, May 5, 2015

    Iran's president denounced western countries for taking pride in arms sales Tuesday, after France signed a warplanes deal with Qatar, saying weapons agreements add to Middle East instability. More »

  • French fighter jets find takers in a worried world
    French fighter jets find takers in a worried world Tue, May 5, 2015

    By John Irish RIYADH (Reuters) - After failing for years to win a single order for the Dassault-built Rafale fighter jet, France has scored a string of multi-billion-euro wins in recent weeks and is on a quest for more. Global appetite for the jets has surged as a result of the United States' diminishing influence in the Arab world along with wider security concerns over the rise of Islamic State insurgents - which Paris is more than happy to assuage. Egypt, India and Qatar have all just signed contracts. "Good things always come in four," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius quipped to reporters on the jet taking President Francois Hollande to the Gulf this week to sign the Qatar deal and make a rare guest appearance by a Westerner at a regional summit there. More »

  • Gulf oil exporters should cut spending, diversify: IMF
    Gulf oil exporters should cut spending, diversify: IMF Tue, May 5, 2015

    Gulf oil exporters must reduce spending, including subsidies, and diversify their economies to cope with lower oil revenues, the IMF says More »

  • Indonesia to stop sending domestic workers to Mideast: reports
    Indonesia to stop sending domestic workers to Mideast: reports Tue, May 5, 2015

    Indonesia will stop sending new domestic workers to 21 Middle Eastern countries, reports said on Tuesday, after the recent execution of two Indonesian women in Saudi Arabia angered Jakarta. More »

  • French leader oversees Qatar jet deal, to attend Gulf summit
    French leader oversees Qatar jet deal, to attend Gulf summit Mon, May 4, 2015

    Francois Hollande (centre) is greeted by Qatar's Culture Minister Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari at Doha airport, on May 4, 2015 More »

  • French president visits Qatar, deepening ties to Gulf
    French president visits Qatar, deepening ties to Gulf Mon, May 4, 2015

    French President Francois Hollande, seeking to strengthen political and business ties with the energy-rich Gulf states, held talks with the ruler of Qatar on Monday at the start of a two-nation trip that ... More »

  • Rumors of Hamilton moving to Ferrari intrigue F1
    Rumors of Hamilton moving to Ferrari intrigue F1 Mon, May 4, 2015

    PARIS (AP) — Growing rumors of Lewis Hamilton's potential move to Ferrari are being fed by the fact that the defending Formula One champion has yet to sign a new contract with Mercedes. More »

  • French leader oversees Qatar jet deal
    French leader oversees Qatar jet deal Mon, May 4, 2015

    Pilot Benoit Flanche performs a manoeuvre in his Dassault Rafale aircraft during a demonstration flight at Halim airport in Jakarta on March 25, 2015 More »

  • Qatar agrees to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets from France
    Qatar agrees to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets from France Mon, May 4, 2015

    Hollande and Sheikh Tamim sign $7bn euro contract in Doha which includes training of Qatari pilots and technicians. More »

  • France's Hollande in Qatar for warplane deal
    France's Hollande in Qatar for warplane deal Mon, May 4, 2015

    French President Francois Hollande has arrived in Qatar to oversee the signing of a multi-billion-euro deal to sell 24 Rafale fighter jets to the gas-rich emirate More »

  • Region threatened as Gulf leaders hold summit
    Region threatened as Gulf leaders hold summit Sun, May 3, 2015

    Solutions will be hard to find Tuesday when Gulf monarchs hold their annual summit in a region threatened by jihadists and a war in Yemen that has raised tensions with Iran. More »

  • Asia's lack of democracy typical of FIFA ethos, says Ali Sun, May 3, 2015

    By Mike Collett DEAD SEA, Jordan (Reuters) - The way that the Asian Football Confederation allowed FIFA president Sepp Blatter to address its congress while none of the men campaigning to replace him could, showed a typical lack of democracy, one of the candidates said on Sunday. Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, the head of the Jordan FA and currently Asia's own vice-president on the FIFA executive committee, directed his criticism at AFC president Shaikh Salman of Bahrain but said apart from UEFA, the other confederations were guilty of the same thing. Shaikh Salman refused to allow Portugal's Luis Figo, Michael van Praag of the Netherlands and Prince Ali the opportunity to speak at last week's AFC Congress in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. More »

  • AFC would back any China World Cup bid - Soosay
    AFC would back any China World Cup bid - Soosay Sun, May 3, 2015

    By Mike Collett MANAMA (Reuters) - China's hopes of one day hosting a World Cup would receive the full backing of Asia's governing body more than 25 years after the idea was first mooted, according to AFC general secretary Alex Soosay. Speaking in an interview with Reuters, the Malaysian administrator also said that the region deserved more spots at the finals and that the image of Asian football was recovering after years of suffering under its previous leadership. Soosay, talking after this week's Asian Football Confederation Congress in Bahrain, said that China had the potential to host the World Cup, an idea first proposed by former FIFA president Joao Havelange in the late 1980s. "China has had a bit of a pitfall here and there, domestically they were hit by corruption but now they are back on track," Soosay said. More »

  • Iran says Yemen security 'like our own'
    Iran says Yemen security 'like our own' Sat, May 2, 2015

    Iran considers the security of Yemen to be like its own, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Saturday, denouncing "adventurist actions" by Saudi Arabia, the state television website reported. More »

  • AFC General Secretary Soosay dismisses 'cover-up' claims
    AFC General Secretary Soosay dismisses 'cover-up' claims Sat, May 2, 2015

    By Mike Collett MANAMA (Reuters) - Alex Soosay, general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), has told Reuters that "fresh allegations" he ordered documents to be hidden during a corruption probe were nothing new and had been dealt with a long time ago. Malaysian Soosay said in an interview after the AFC's Congress in the Bahraini capital that a story in the Malay Mail last Saturday that he tampered with or hid financial documents had been taken out of context. The Malaysian paper said it had obtained a video interview from July 2012 in which AFC financial director Bryan Kuan Wee Hong told a FIFA investigator Soosay had come to him to help cover up what had been going on under disgraced former AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam. More »

  • Alonso Tied To McLaren For Three Years
    Alonso Tied To McLaren For Three Years Sat, May 2, 2015

    Fernando Alonso has signed a binding three-year contract with McLaren, team boss Ron Dennis has revealed. According to Dennis, the deal, which is believed to be worth around £25m per year, doesn’t contain any opt-out clauses that would enable the Spaniard to leave if a more attractive seat became available. More »

  • Palestine want Israel out of FIFA - president Fri, May 1, 2015

    By Mike Collett MANAMA (Reuters) - Palestine will seek Israel's expulsion from world football's governing body at this month's FIFA Congress, FA president Jibril Rajoub has told Reuters. Last year Rajoub agreed to drop a resolution urging delegates to take sanctions against Israel at FIFA's Congress in Sao Paulo but he said on Friday he would press ahead with the same proposal in Zurich on May 29. He added he "would not make the concessions" he made when withdrawing the proposal a year ago because nothing had improved in the way Israel "were persecuting Palestine footballers, athletes and the movement of sporting equipment". "Enough is enough," Rajoub said after attending the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) aimed at building more co-operation between the two organisations. More »

  • Kuwait arrests ex-lawmaker over Iran tweet
    Kuwait arrests ex-lawmaker over Iran tweet Fri, May 1, 2015

    Kuwait on Friday arrested a former opposition lawmaker for alleging Iran was pressuring the oil-rich emirate to change the crown prince, the government and relatives said. More »

  • Iran's Zarif congratulates new Saudi FM despite tensions
    Iran's Zarif congratulates new Saudi FM despite tensions Fri, May 1, 2015

    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif congratulated his newly-installed Saudi counterpart on his appointment, Iranian media reported Friday, even as tensions flare between the rival regional powers over Yemen. More »

  • Pakistan accept terms to elect Indian rival Fri, May 1, 2015

    For India's Praful Patel, it meant ensuring more fixtures and playing opportunities for arch-rivals Pakistan. Patel was elected unopposed as the AFC VP from the seven-nation South Asia (SAFF) block in Bahrain on Thursday after Pakistan's soccer head Faisal Saleh Hayat withdrew in the final hours. With Pakistan, who played only two matches in 2014, knocked out of joint 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifying in the first round by Yemen they faced a long spell in the international wilderness. "We've had an offer from the Football Association of Maldives for a tournament there," Pakistan Football Federation marketing official Sardar Naveed told the Dawn newspaper after Patel was elected. More »

  • Yemen rebels attack Saudi border, dozens dead
    Yemen rebels attack Saudi border, dozens dead Fri, May 1, 2015

    Saudi Arabia said its forces killed dozens of Iran-backed rebels from Yemen who launched their first major attack on the kingdom since Saudi-led air strikes began last month. More »

  • Pair of sheikhs are the big winners at Asian elections Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A pair of sheikhs were the big winners Thursday at a meeting of Asian soccer leaders. More »

  • Sheikh Ahmad joins FIFA's top table, Salman re-elected
    Sheikh Ahmad joins FIFA's top table, Salman re-elected Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    By Mike Collett MANAMA (Reuters) - Political kingmaker Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah of Kuwait extended his influence further into soccer on Thursday when he was elected unopposed as one of Asia's three ordinary representatives on FIFA's executive committee. Sheikh Ahmad was the only candidate for a two-year term up for grabs on FIFA's top table due to tactical manoeuvring by confederation chiefs. The tactics were orchestrated by Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, who himself was re-elected as Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president unopposed for a four year term. He will continue on the FIFA executive committee along with newcomers Sheikh Ahmad, who was elevated to world soccer's governing body along with Prince Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah of Malaysia and Kohzo Tashima of Japan who will serve for four years. More »

  • Asia football boss strengthens grip with new term
    Asia football boss strengthens grip with new term Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Asia's football chief silenced a South Korean protest over voting on Thursday as he flexed his muscles shortly after being handed a fresh, four-year term in office. More »

  • Asia united says Salman but not everyone is happy
    Asia united says Salman but not everyone is happy Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    By Mike Collett MANAMA (Reuters) - The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is more united than it has been before but its teams must do better on the field, Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain told delegates when he was re-elected as the body's president on Thursday. Luis Figo, one of the three men standing against incumbent Sepp Blatter in next month's FIFA presidential elections was also unhappy at the fact the trio had been denied the chance to address delegates despite Salman declaring the AFC believed in democracy, solidarity and unity. Shaikh Salman though, was rapturously applauded by most of the delegates from Asia's 47 member associations as he was re-elected AFC president for another four-year term unopposed and also took his seat on the FIFA executive committee as a vice-president representing his continent. More »

  • Draft Formula One Calendar Leak Confirmed
    Draft Formula One Calendar Leak Confirmed Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    The proposed calendar for the 2016 F1 season was leaked, the commercial rights holder of the sport has confirmed. More »

  • Blatter praises Asian soccer for moving out of murky waters
    Blatter praises Asian soccer for moving out of murky waters Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    By Mike Collett MANAMA (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter praised the president of the Asian Football Confederation Shaikh Salman of Bahrain for "cleaning up" the confederation in a speech to delegates at the AFC's congress on Thursday. Blatter, 79, who is seeking a fifth term as FIFA president in next month's election, gave an uncharacteristically low-key speech and again used his favourite shipping analogy to describe the progress made by the confederation since former AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam was banned for life two years ago. Bin Hammam was kicked out of soccer for his part in a bribery scandal in 2011 and was replaced in 2013 by Shaikh Salman, who was re-elected as AFC president unopposed later on Thursday. Blatter told delegates from the 47 Asian nations that Salman had shown "a remarkable sense of organisation and diplomacy to bring back the boat of the AFC that at certain times has been in waters not so very clear and not so very clean." Blatter, addressing Salman, who is supporting Blatter in his quest to be re-elected FIFA president next month, continued: "You have brought back this boat since 2013 and it is only justice when this congress later on will re-elect you as leader of the AFC. More »

  • Asian soccer pays respect to Nepal earthquake victims Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    MANAMA (Reuters) - Delegates stood at the start of the 26th Asian Football Confederation Congress for a minute's silence to respect more than 5,200 people who died and the tens of thousands left homeless in last week's Nepal earthquake disaster. Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, the president of the AFC, also sent condolences to UEFA president Michel Platini, who was absent following the recent death of his mother. (Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Sudipto Ganguly) More »

  • Hong Kong to push FIFA for greater player pool
    Hong Kong to push FIFA for greater player pool Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    The Hong Kong Football Association will lobby FIFA for dispensation to allow long-term residents without a Hong Kong passport to represent the national team. HKFA Chief Executive Mark Sutcliffe believes a permanent identification card should be enough to represent the team for those foreign-born residents who have lived in Hong Kong for more than seven years. If it was approved, it would open up a far greater playing pool for the East Asians who currently sit a lowly 167th in the FIFA rankings. "I will speak to the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) legal advisor about the best way possible to handle this situation and get their support to help me lobby FIFA," he was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post on Thursday. More »