Three reasons why Russia should be stripped of 2018 World Cup

Then FIFA President Joseph Blatter and Russia's President Vladimir Putin pose during handing over of the 2018 FIFA World Cup signed certificate to Russia. (Image: Alexei Nikolsky/AP/RIA Novosti)

Then FIFA President Joseph Blatter and Russia's President Vladimir Putin pose during handing over of the 2018 FIFA World Cup signed certificate to Russia. (Image: Alexei Nikolsky/AP/RIA Novosti) 

Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

Even before the upcoming trials of former FIFA staffers confirm as seems likely that Moscow corruptly secured the hosting of the 2018 World Cup, a finding that would make it unthinkable to allow the competition to occur in Russia, there are already three compelling reasons why the international community should insist it be shifted to another venue.

Volodymyr Ohryzko

Volodymyr Ohryzko

Two are offered in a commentary today by Volodymyr Ohryzko, a former Ukrainian foreign minister, and the third is provided in a backhanded way by FIFA itself.

First of all, as Ohryzko points out, taking the games away from Russia would give Vladimir Putin a major publicity defeat and prevent him from using the World Cup as he did the Sochi Olympiad to boost his standing in the world. It would thus represent a continuation of the international condemnation and isolation of the Kremlin since its invasion of Ukraine.

Second, he says, taking the competition away from Russia would represent an extension of the West’s sanctions regime against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine by depriving it of the income it might otherwise get. Thus, it would represent “an additional economic sanction,” one that might have a positive impact.

And third, this week FIFA officials attempted to play down the amount of racist violence by Russian fans by suggesting that the Russian government was working hard to rein in such manifestations and that other soccer countries have an even worse record with regard to actions driven by ethnic and religious hatred.

But that FIFA effort has had the effect of calling attention to the amount of soccer violence and to the fact that several black soccer players have already announced they will not take part in the World Cup if it is held in Russia because of fears for their personal security.

That protest, three years in advance of the competition, prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare that holding the World Cup competition in Russia would help the country fight racism, a declaration almost as likely to be true as his claims that there are no Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Nowhere Girl

    Russia definitely shouldn’t organise the soccer World Cup. Due to its actions in Ukraine it should be treated as a leper until it withdraws, apologizes and sends Putin to Hague for a fair trial. However, it’s best to wait… let Putin spend money for preparations and only then announce that under current circumstances the World Cup cannot be organised in Russia.

  • Vol Ya

    Three reasons Russia should be stripped of the 2018 FIFA cup.
    1. Putin bribed FIFA officials to get the tournament.
    2. Russia has invaded a sovereign country Ukraine.
    3. Russia is developing into a fascist dictatorship under putin.

  • gmab

    Sends the wrong message to the world letting a rogue & violent Country like Russia have the honour of hosting games where Rules, Respect & structure exists. 2 Chechen wars, Georgina war & 2 annexations, Moldova loss of Transnistria, Ukraine war & annexation of Crimea. Really, come on, there are far more deserving countries to be considered for 2018. Shame Russia for their crimes, not reward them.

    • Czech Friend

      trouble is the wrong message has already been sent over the past year. Our Western leaders let Putin get away with murder- in fact thousands of them. And didn’t much as flinch about it.

      • gmab

        Yes, but the rest of the world hardly knows about Russian war in Ukraine. But FIFA is big news – they get more Press than Ukraine does. I do believe stealing money is punished more than murdering 1,000s of human beings is.

    • Mick Servian

      What? Maybe Ukraine should host it?

  • Garry Simkin

    after invading eastern ukraine and crimea theres no way russia should have the world cup. putin needs to learn a lesson,to lose it would make him look a bigger fool than he already is.

  • Murf

    Look at the bright side.
    If he does host it that will be another 100 Billion down the corruption drain.
    That is a 100 billion he can not use to cause trouble else where.
    But i would love to see his weaselly face when he gets the word that his toy has been taken away.

  • Czech Friend

    If it isn’t removed then it will be boycotted.

    So pick and choose, Putler.

    • gmab

      Let’s hope he won’t be around to find out!

  • gmab

    Yeah, but soccer is like breathing air in Europe & South America, who would boycott especially if another Soccer organization is formed before 2018. This article is not about Ukraine but about Russia’s behaviour in the international realm. Breaking treaties, laws, so on, are the issue here, not just Ukraine invasion.

  • misusan

    there are more than 3 reasons why///

    I’m wondering if Holland will attend///

    if FIFA doesn’t take attitude/// maybe one of the qualified nations will///

  • Mick Servian

    Fifa is an international world wide organization. It is not an extension of the west. Or maybe Ukrainian fascists are ok with that?
    Only reason why Russia should be stripped is that it would make those Ukrainian fascists happy.

  • Mick Servian

    Hey I’ve got an idea.
    Let’s destroy sports by using it as a weapon against someone we really want to stick it to. Because we don’t like them
    And justify it because the ones we don’t like are really bad people. So everything is permitted.
    We should also hang racist banners from every football match. What? I mean it’s justified.