Irony Watch: Islamic Solidarity Games Break Down Over Gulf Naming Dispute

Persian Gulf - Persian Gulf from space

I don’t want to be accused of being an agent of the Iranian regime, but on this Gulf dispute I think the Arab states just should face up to the fact that “Persian Gulf” is what everyone calls it:

The Islamic Solidarity Games, due to be held in Iran in April, have been called off because of a dispute with Arab countries over what to call the Gulf. The games federation in Saudi Arabia said the Iranian organisers had failed to address its concerns, particularly about the planned logo and medals. These bear the words “Persian Gulf”, but Arab countries, who call it the Arabian Gulf, reject the term.

Talk of Islamic Solidarity Games also raises in my mind the question of why the Arab states have such a poor track record in international sporting events. People of Arab descent have some significant sporting achievements in Europe (Zinadine Zidane, e.g.) but in the 2008 summer Olympics all the Arab states put together only got five medals (2 for Algeria, 2 for Morocco, and one for Egypt) while Azerbaijan managed seven.