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Discussion Starter #1
Just got to wondering, wouldn't it be awesome if instead of buying out small teams and making them huge from other leagues (EPL,...etc.), would it not it be awesome if the rich Arabs decided to up the quality of the local league, by maybe buying washed up professionals, or something like that..., i know they have tried getting the likes of Figo and them, but im sure there is some way of doing it, this may sound crazy, but i would love to see any Arab league be just as strong as the European ones
 

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Well Qatar sort of did that with the likes of Batistuta, Desailly, LeBoeuf etc...

But their league has piss poor attendances except during cup finals, or during crucial league fixtures toward the end of the season...
 

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Only in countries with a large population it would be realistic. Qatar, Bahrain or Kuwait for example lack the population to fill the stadiums, even when the league attracts big names and sees quality squads it remains unattractive to sponsor the thing. Saudi Arabia is the one country that may be able to do it, and Iran but thats not an Arab country. Saudi league is on its way up already but you cannot force this growth in a few seasons time, and one problem remains: these clubs are in the Asian CL and thus miss out on the clash with world famous Italian, English and Spanish clubs. Even if an Arab club can compete with them, they are in a different league and miss out on those attractive fixtures, I fear this is a big issue if you would want the Arab leagues to be as big as the European ones. Then you would need to upgrade Asian football in general, and apart from Japan no non-Arab Asian country managed to get their league up to a level that is attractive on the pitch and in the stands.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There is the Club World Cup...lol

I agree Cracked, but it is interesting, as most of the Arabs i have met, are really into their football, so im sure if they bring in some decent players, in a few years time, the league should become pretty attractive, and im sure 1 or 2 attractive leagues in Asia is fine, look at Europe, realistically there is only 3 attractive leagues (EPL,La Liga and Serie A).

I'm sure the crowd will show up, especially in Saudi!
 

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Saudi definitely. UAE potentially (?).

Problem is that the players in European leagues have not only a strong and popular domestic league to play in, but also attractive crossborder fixtures versus teams from other very strong leagues. Even if the Saudi league becomes very good (which is definitely possible given its potential) the fact remains that these players would have only their domestic front to focus on without chances to get international exposure like in the Champions League in Europe. To upgrade the profile of Arab football, you need to upgrade the profile of Asian football generally. I guess Iran and Japan have very decent leagues, and Australia moving to Asia has also increased the quality. So it is definitely not impossible for especially the Saudi league to get a very high standard, much will depend on how the Asian Champions league is doing. If this would become somewhat attractive like the European one, so that players in Saudi have several trophies to aim for, then Arab football certainly can aim high.

PS: I find it quite odd that countries like Lebanon and Syria remain a bit behind in terms of football, while the diverse and multi ethnic population should more or less guarantee football being a popular and much practised game. It does seem Jordan is going uphill fastly, but will the local clubs follow or can we only expect the NT doing well the coming years?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I find it quite odd that countries like Lebanon and Syria remain a bit behind in terms of football, while the diverse and multi ethnic population should more or less guarantee football being a popular and much practised game. It does seem Jordan is going uphill fastly, but will the local clubs follow or can we only expect the NT doing well the coming years?
I agree, football is a rather strange sport, look at India, they are the second largest population in the world, yet i cannot name one Indian football player, nor have i ever seen India play a football match
 

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Dhorasoo :) But he has dual nationality (French - Indian) and opted to play for France. Too bad, if he had chosen to play for India he may have been the role model encouraging the Indians to embrace soccer.

Problem is the ethnically diverse population there. Basically football is very popular in all Muslim-orientated parts of the country, which basically means the city of Calcutta and surrounding areas. There football is very very popular and games attract lot of fans. In the rest of the country however, everybody has cricket as nr 1 sport. This means that from that huge number of people with Indian citizenship, only a small amount is interested in playing football.

China has a similar problem, they have so many citizens that it is impossible to not form a top class team there. But how are you going to do that when most Chinese people are simply not interested because other sports are a lot more popular?

In Asia it is basically Saudi, Iran, Australia and Japan. Maybe the Uzbek league now as well, although I wonder if this is not a short term hype. If Asian football gets stronger so that the AFC Champions League gets attractive to play in like the European one, then more players would be keen on playing in Asia. Even if the Saudi league becomes really really good, then still you got just the league and the players have little exposure abroad because the Asian champions league gets not much attention. If Arab football wants to further evolve, Asian football in general needs to evolve. I mean, English or Spanish football would also be nowhere as popular if it wasnt for the European tournaments as very attractive bonus added to the domestic league.

A solution would be maybe to upgrade the intercontinental tournaments, for example a world club for clubs but a serious one and not the crappy tournament it is now. In that case clubs from Saudi, Australia, Japan, USA, etc would have their own strong domestic league but also attractive games against Juventus, Milan, Manchester United, River Plate, Boca Juniors, ...
 
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