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FIFA says World Cup will stay in Russia, “can achieve positive change”

Jul 25, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

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A famous fictional American, upon defeating a Russian in a boxing match, once won over the entire nation of Russia with a dramatic speech (effectively ending the Cold War, one could argue).

FIFA doesn’t want to limit the heroism of sport in the nation, so it is be ignoring the potential threats to safety by rejecting calls to move the 2018 World Cup away from Russia.

[ RELATED: Stripping of World Cup from Russia? Germany makes the argument ]

[ RELATED: Qatar/Russia World Cup bidding investigation delayed ]

Oh, and there’s an influential Russian on FIFA’s executive committee, which might play a role the decision.

From the Associated Press:

FIFA has rejected calls to move the 2018 World Cup from Russia, saying the tournament “can achieve positive change.”

Russia’s alleged involvement in shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last week prompted calls from some lawmakers in Germany to review the country’s hosting rights.

The governing body also says “boycotting sport events or a policy of isolation or confrontation” doesn’t work.

FIFA, which has Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko on its executive committee, says a World Cup in the country “can be a force for good.”

Those calling for the removal of the World Cup from Russia don’t necessarily have precedent to fall back on, as the tournament has occasionally been held in controversial locales dating back to the 1938 tournament in fascist Italy.

Yes, Russia is a big part of international turmoil right now and has annexed part of the Ukraine. They don’t have a tremendous record on human rights nor free speech. And they are under investigation for alleged improprieties in earning the right to host the World Cup.

Where was I going on this?

It’s easy to be cynical about Russia hosting the World Cup. But that would eliminate our chances at this great post-World Cup speech from an American after an inexplicable win over upset of the host nation in the 2018 final.

“If I can change… and you can change… FIFA is still not going to change.”

As an aside, if Jurgen Klinsmann doesn’t have the United States team carrying logs through the Russian countryside in sweat suits before the tournament, preferably as he follows along in a car, I’m going to be very upset at his ignorance of a the great ‘Rocky IV’.

  1. lordfletcher - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    brilliant.

    Putin, he really deserves, classy dude …… sigh

  2. jhnyr45 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    HAHA that Rocky comparison at the end is great

  3. lyleoross - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    FIFA is right, Russia can be taught to change, they should have bribed Ukraine instead of starting an illegal war, you know, the FIFA way.

  4. scoochpooch - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Just think of how many more atrocities Rissia will commit in the next 4 years leading up to the World Cup.

    • 4thquartermagic - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      …And still come in second to those committed by FIFA.

  5. joejacks - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Should not be in Russia. Will not be as Putin will have country in full war by then. FIFA needs to wake up.

  6. granadafan - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    These are the same fools who thought that Qatar was a wise choice to hold the World Cup.

  7. paperlions - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    In other words, the bribes have been paid, those guys in the Russian mafia are freaking scary, and we wouldn’t want to give the money back even if they would accept it.

  8. goldmember21 - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Exactly^

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