Unless Moscow suppresses racism, World Cup can’t be held in Russia, FIFA VP says

Jeffrey Webb, VP of FIFA


Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Given how much racism there is in Russia and how seldom Moscow seeks to rein it in, holding the 2018 World Cup in that country would be impossible, according to Jeffrey Webb, the vice president of FIFA, the international governing board of the sport.

Webb, who heads the football association in Latin American countries, expressed the hope that Russia will change course over the next three years. Otherwise, “as a result of the problems with racism, the world championship in Russia would become a major challenge for FIFA.

This is not the first time FIFA officials have spoken about the problem of racism in Russia. Joseph Blatter, the organization’s president, did so last week. And six weeks ago, the Football Against Racism in Europe organization published a joint report with Moscow’s SOVA monitoring agency about racism in Russia.

But Webb’s statement is the first time any senior official in that organization has suggested that FIFA might move the World Cup competition out of Russia to another country or countries, and as such, it constitutes a major challenge to Vladimir Putin who has made that event like the Sochi Olympics a centerpiece of his celebration of Russia’s return.

Two years ago, FIFA introduced a new program to struggle against any manifestations of racism among competitors or fans and specified that any team whose coaches or players “systematically” displayed racist attitudes toward other players should be disqualified. There have been several such incidents involving Russian players, and now FIFA appears to be acting.

In his statement last week, Blatter said that “the problem of racism constantly is on the agenda. Regrettably, we encounter it in various parts of the globe on a daily basis.”

In the run-up to the Sochi Olympiad, many activists complained about Russian racism and about Moscow’s decision to stage a sporting event on the site of an 1864 genocide conducted against the Circassians. But no one in the International Olympic Committee was prepared to threaten Moscow with a cancellation if Russia did not deal with those criticisms.

Of course, that was before Putin invaded Ukraine, seized Crimea, and the international community responded with sanctions. And it was also before the manifestations of racism in Russia attracted as much attention as they have in recent months, the result of official Russian government support for some of the most noxious nationalists.

If FIFA did cancel the competition in Russia, that would be a major black eye for a country that cares passionately about football and plans to hold the contests in 12 stadiums in 11 cities. But because of that passion and of concerns about face, its threat to do so puts far more pressure on Putin and on those around him to change course than any sanctions to date.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dirk Smith

    Along with waking up NATO, ruining the Russian economy, and creating a blatant fascist state, this will be another failure of the botox dwarf.

  • Murf

    Good for FIFA!

  • Peter Schwanewilms

    “Of course, that was before Putin invaded Ukraine, seized Crimea, and the international community responded with sanctions. ” That in my opinion is the biger problem. A State that invaded in an other FIFA-State and seized and is continuing seizing part of their land, can not held FIFA Worldcup. Immediate Alternative: The big and well prepared arenas and stadiums of Europe.

    • evanlarkspur

      You should be ashamed of being such an ignorasmus!

      • evanlarkspur

        Wow indeed.

    • Randall Cook

      Rosa Krause you are a delusional history-revising Fool…ПТН ХЛО

    • Vyto Karmazinas

      Rosa sounds to be like a paid government troll. Lots of them out there spreading the party line for a living.

      • Lt. Greyman, NVA

        Except he is right.

    • LorCanada

      Rosa — There is such a thing as RULE OF LAW. And there is such a thing as INTERNATIONAL LAW whereby each nation RESPECTS the integral borders of its neighbours and thus PEACE WILL PREVAIL.
      Any single nation that illegally invades another is breaking International Law, and in the case of Crimea, there is the BUDAPEST MEMORANDUM which Russia signed along with a handful of other nations to protect the borders of Ukraine. Of course Putin ignores the law and thinks he can invade any country he pleases and carve it up. Well, that didn’t go down well with the western leaders who do not accept Putin’s LAND GRAB of Crimea and east Ukraine and the consequences were sanctions imposed by the West.
      The United Nations voted 100 AGAINST RUSSIA for invading and illegally annexing Crimea which rightfully belongs to Ukraine according to International Law. What does Putin not understand about International Law?
      Sooner or later Putin will wake up to realize the world does not revolve around him as some pseudo dictator imitating Hitler. I think there are rumblings even now among the Russian intelligentsia who are speaking out against Putin.

      • LorCanada

        When the Soviet empire collapsed, the satellite countries were free of Russian domination and they were quick to request membership in NATO which is at present a COALITION of some 28 nations. What these small countries do as independent nations is no business of Putin and Russia should not meddle in the internal affairs of other sovereign nations. Ask China about that, ok?
        The reality is quite the contrary, Russia’s Lavrov travels to Nordic countries and warns them NOT to join NATO! Such threats are stupidity itself. Russia needs to mind its own business and improve their own economy at home instead of trying to destroy the economy of other neighbouring countries. There are no “slaves” in NATO. And as to oil companies anywhere in the world, please note there is a glut worldwide and the prices are very low, most oil companies are shutting down, have you not noticed? To Mafia Putin and his gang, they do not live by the RULE OF LAW and just like Hitler, signed documents are just a piece of paper they ignore.

        • Michel Cloarec

          That rose kause will not accept any explanation, he is already too much radicalized and has found his fascism ideas .
          Denial of any fact is their specialities .

      • evanlarkspur

        Why don’t you putinbots stop going on foolishly about some “pledge” the NATO wouldn’t expand eastward. There never was any such pledge, and no one ever signed any such treaty or agreement. It is a complete distortion (yet again) by russian liars. NATO is a defensive organization that can only “go” where it is invited. Nations request membership, they are not pressured to join. Indeed, the process and criteria to join are quite intense and laborious, and require a lot of a nation, not least of which in its democratic decision-making. A nations people have to be very serious about such a desire to go through it all in order to join and pledge themselves mutually with other nations to a common defense.

        And what could make any people run so desperately and resolutely toward a defensive alliance but the decades of death, rape, theft and oppression that Russia offers?

        If Russia wants to be surrounded by friends instead of people who view it as an enemy to be defended against, there is a clear way to do that; start treating neighbors with respect and friendship, instead of treating everyone as either a vassal or an enemy. The world is very tired of Russia. You can keep coming onto these forums with your lies, twisted logic, (tragically comedic misspelled and poorly constructed) accusations against others of all the crimes of which your own nation is guilty, and it just stiffens our resolve- we are done with you until you mature into responsible adults capable of making and keeping agreements with others.

    • Turtler

      “You should read any encyclopedia to learn history, corporate media just
      tell lies and propaganda to take aback youth that prefer comfort and

      Oh this should be FUNNY. Now let’s hear an indulgent internet troll who has listened to Kremlin media propaganda teach me history.

      “There are Russians in Novorossiya before any Ukrainian, that is why it is called like that.”


      The communities that would be the basis of what we know as “Ukrainian” were around almost continuously from the disintegration of Rurikid Rus in the first couple centuries of the second millennium. Though in the wave of Mongol invasions they tended to resort to a semi-nomadic, semi-pastorial se tof horse mounted communities like the Cossacks that formed the basis of Ukrainian culture. Especially in the areas now known as the “Wild Fields.”

      Actual, recognizable Ukrainian language started to coalesce a few centuries later between the 15th and 17th centuries when the mish mash of Lithuanian, Polish, and resurgent Muscovite influences dripped into the base “Southern Rus” language. Along with some Turkish ahd Mongolian from the long years fighting them.

      Novorossiya formed in the middle of the 18th century when Muscovite conquests in the South and Ukrainian resistance sent the Turks and Tartars packing from the Northeastern section of the Wild Fields, and for various reasons the Tsars did not trust the free Ukrainian communities. So they set up a frontier fortification and settlements that would be definitively Muscovite to serve as a regional bastion in territory that was dominated by the Proto-Ukrainians and the Tartars.

      The fact that the Tsarist authority *signed a treaty with the Cossack Hetmanate* to help establish that underlines that.

      “Crimea and Novorossiya were conquered by Russians to Muslim Tatars that
      used to raid Ukraine to take captives that were sold as slaves and
      concubines in the Ottoman Empire.”

      Oooh. So now you’re trying to conflate the ancient Kingdom/Empire of Rus with the state the Muscovite Peter the Great called “Rossiya”? Even the etymology is wrong.

      Rus is without a doubt a great foundation of Russian history. But it’s also a separate foundation for Ukrainian and Belarusian History. And any frog licking moron who thinks the state ruled from Kyiv or Novgorod (depending on the occasion) is the same as the one that emerged from the upstart river fort that was early Moscow hundreds of miles away- when Kyivan Rus was so balkanized so frequently- is deluded. Much in the same way that the Ottoman Empire was not the “Sultan of Rome” or “Roman Emperor.”

      Rus fell apart in the wake of the Mongol invasions, severing the weak ties holding separate, largely autonomous regions along the Volga and Dneiper. Over the centuries of collapsed communication the various and now isolated culture and population regions evolve apart from each other. Moreso thanks to the Polish-Lithuanian influence in the South and the Mongol, German, and Scandinavian ones in the North.

      So that when the Muscovites finally reached back down to the old heartland of Rus, they and the Ukrainians were very different peoples from the “Rus” ancestor they both shared. Not unlike how every indigenous group in the Americas started out as Siberian and Polynesian nomads.

      “Novorossiya was detached from Russia and transferred to Ukraine in 1922, would you praise the Bolsheviks for this?”

      I love how you’re ignoring it.

      Before they “transferred” anything to Ukraine, the Bolsheviks first mercilessly gutted all attempts by Ukraine to be independent. This was not the work of some isolated nutjobs; the Ukrainian nationalists fought on equal footing with the Bolsheviks and the Southern Whites- generally the two big “Internal superpowers” of the Russian Civil war. Often doing so simultaneously.

      And surprise surprise, “Novorossiya” turned out to not be so “Rossiyan” after all due to centuries of cultural mingling with the locals.

      “Crimea was transferred by Khruschev in 1954. Would you extol Communism for this?”

      In this case, “For Once Yes.”

      A video circulating around did a better job of this, but the Soviet Russian government did even more *miserably* with the peninsula than the norm. Including insufficient infrastructure and maintenance. Which came back to bite in the middle of WWII when the old bastion of Sebastopol and its’ cousins were weakened, and the line of communications across the Sea of Azov was nowhere near finished.

      The Soviet Ukrainian government was still a totalitarian mess and far from good, but it did more than utterly ignore the place.

      And we’re seeing that repeat now. What with Putin demanding that Kyiv continue to pay things like pensions and energy to the thing he occupied claiming it isn’t a part of them.

      So to summarize:

      The Ukrainian communities developed continuously from the collapse of Kyivan Rus and the unity from that int he wake of the Mongol conquests. They were well formed by the time the North consolidated again under a Muscovite/”Rossiyan” community and government, much less moved South.

      Novorossiya was designated as a colonial Muscovite holding to help project Muscovite power into a region where Muscovy had had precious little influence for centuries. Least of all amongst the Tartars or the proto-Ukrainians. It eventually was assimilated into Ukraine to varying degrees.

      Crimea was inhabited/occupied by the Tartars for centuries, was routinely governed from across the land bridge, and was transferred by the Soviets because-apparently- Russian governments have a record of skimping about it.

      And you are the real ignoramus.

      Take that Western encyclopedia and CRACK that thick skull with it, because it might do more good than it has done now.

    • Mykola Potytorsky

      can you tell me where Novosiberia is?

      • Michel Cloarec

        Novosiberia will be putin nightmare, when siberia will want to share the wealth coming from oil and gas . Wealth which goes into the pocket of the kremlin rulers. They will soon start a revolution and China will have the chance to support that revolution. Wait and see !

      • Michel Cloarec

        If you are so clever as you try to show. Why put on the actual government old problems which the ethnics russians did not managed to solve earlier. Why not listen to the new gvnt and sit around a table and discuss the lpr/dpr situation. It would be more clever. The Ua gvnt can´t accept blackmail , gvnts never do !

        “””” Successive Ukrainian governments have repeatedly failed to take the legitimate desires of the Russian-speaking population into account. Pro-Russian activists spent years trying to get official recognition for teaching Russian in schools and allowing the use of it on government documentation “””””
        I read- successive-spent years –

  • Peter Schwanewilms
  • Brent

    Wow. So Sepp Blatter may have more of a backbone and better morals than Merkl and Hollande!!! Not sure anyone saw that coming!!!

    Very glad to see SOMEONE standing up to Putin’s Russia and their ‘values’ they wish to impose on the rest of the World…..

    • evanlarkspur

      How better is Europe now without Hitler? How better is SE Asia without Hirohito? How much better will Russia be without Putin?
      Your posts generally have little relevance to the topic, and even less connection to truth, Putinbot. You are wasting your time here with your lies- we are not poorly educated, narrow minded sheep desperately hoping someone in authority will tell us what it all means and how to think and feel. The free world is hardening against you and your endless destructive propaganda. The casket into which you are gleefully pounding the final nails for a few rubles turns out to be your own.

      • Randall Cook

        Rosa Krause was probably one of Ghaddaffy’s ”amazon” bodyguards..

        • Michel Cloarec

          Bizarre, I never saw him, but maybe he was closed into an harem !

      • Randall Cook

        Rosa Krause–you would know that better than I would…mommy…LOL

        ПТН ХЛО

      • evanlarkspur

        And I challenge YOU to formulate a sentence without laughable grammer and spelling. You calling anyone else poorly educated and narrow-minded is truly hilarious.

        “Corporate” media has at least one important thing going for it; while the range of coverage may be limited to what they think will excite viewers and this sell ads, their toes are held to the fire in terms of telling a defensible truth in that narrow scope. The competition of a free media means that other “corporate” media like nothing better than to catch their rivals telling lies. So they are self-correcting to an extent far beyond your russian lies machines masquerading as news outlets. And as the soviet government interfered with everything in every realm, your history books are as full of lies as your news.

        But my information doesn’t rely on “corporate” media. I own property in Ukraine, and have family and friends throughout Russia and Ukraine. I have traveled in both countries over many years. Though I’m sure you are right; I must be poorly educated and narrow-minded, despite knowing exactly how screwed-up your country truly is.

        Pathetic Putinbot.

        • evanlarkspur

          Er, what?

      • dimitri visser

        You are wrong. Trouble in Ukraine is caused by Russia. A country who installed a puppet president there, a president guilty of corruption. When people in Ukraine were tired of this real problems started. It is Russia trying to influence countries with war, with terrorism, killiing lots of innocent people. And you Rosa, are guilty of supporting a terrorist regime. You are as bad as they are.

    • Michel Cloarec

      They got little more manure ! Does someone regret Khadaffi ?
      The russians did not take to the streets to demand the return of putin during his absence. Don´t trust your fellow citizens.

    • Michel Cloarec

      What about a trip to Lybia to help them to survive .
      For infos Lybia is 160 tribes which do not like each other.
      There is the start of the conflict of today. Khadaffi could keep all that together with dictatorship, that killed him. Russia has to use dictatorship to keep together 190 etnic russians. That will kill him !

    • Turtler

      “It is rather the USA that export its “democracy” with bombs.”

      Ohhh. Scare Quotes. Nevermind the fact that the US actually tries to do it with democracy rather than ethnic hatred. And that it has more to offer than bombs.

      “How better is Libya now without Gaddafi?”

      Significantly, thank you for asking. For all of the warlordism of the day now, Gaddafi ruled Libya like a certain mother-obsessed Turkmen ruled his country, only for decades longer and with vastly more blood.

      The entire economy was dependent on a truly massive welfare scheme based off of undifferentiated oil income, and even then the services and conditions were hardly good. As hard as it may be to believe, the warlordism has killed far fewer and stifled development signfiicantly less than one totalitarian dictator.

      But of course you don’t realize that. Because the new Libyan Republic embargoed Russia for its’ support of the old tyrant.

    • Dirk Smith

      Delusional serf. Enjoy your poverty.

      • Dirk Smith

        Jawohl Komrade. Your support of state terrorism is appalling.

    • Mykola Potytorsky

      alot more activity going on

  • dimitri visser

    It is strange to organise anything in a country guilty of warcrimes and terrorism, a country threathening neighbouring countries with nuclear weapons, a country shooting down civilian airplanes, a country illegally occupying parts of other countries etc. Racism is ofcourse also a problem, but not nearly as big as the other crimes they commit.

    • evanlarkspur

      Yes, FIFA does seem to have its blinders on, huh? You can threaten to nuke someone because you want their territory, but if you threaten to nuke them because of their skin color, THEN FIFA will see you as unfit to host. Curious, but then professional sports are all about the money, and no time for anything that might interfere with the money.

    • dimitri visser

      No, I am describing Russia. Russia is threathening EU countries with the use of nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons we have ourself are placed here by the USA on our request. We need the help of the US to protect us from Russian agression. What happens with a country not having nuclear weapons we can see in Ukraine. INvaded by the Russian terrorist army which is guilty of over 5000 deaths in Eastern Ukraine, guilty of shooting down flight MH17, ckilling almost 300 civilians, guilty of illegally occupying Crimea. Russia is a country which almost equals Nazi Germany, they use the same tricks, copying what they were doing.

      • Michel Cloarec

        Rosa Krause belongs to the National Democratic Party of Germany. Nearly unknown but fascist as well.
        They get leaflets from the party, so they know what to write.
        They even get laptop with restrained keyboard so they do not use words which are not agreed by the party.
        I liked your comment though !

        • dimitri visser

          Ah, it is amazing that someone from Germany is defending Russian fascism. Russia even wants to reverse the unification of East and West Germany, saying that it was a mistake.

          • Michel Cloarec

            Exact, that is the paradox of radicalism . But urss has always been fascist land . You have to be a fascist to build up an economy on Gulags free workers.

  • Lt. Greyman, NVA

    Perhaps racism is good. A healthy love for ones own extended genetic family is natural, we call it Nationalism. It seems that there are two standards. Blacks for Black Countries, Asians for Asian Countries, Israel of Jews and White Countries for everyone. Since the White is down to less than 10% of world population, perhaps the more dysfunctional peoples should live in and fix their own Countries before they move to someone’s else’s and try to change them, like Muslims leaving the MiddleEast and forcing Sharia Law on everyone or blacks leaving Africa and then trying to rule more civilized people.