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British politicians call for Russia to be stripped of 2018 World Cup

Jul 28, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

Vladimir Putin AP

With the eyes of the world continuing to look towards Russia nervously as their conflict with Ukraine rumbles on, the deputy prime minister of Great Britain, Nick Clegg, has called for the 2018 World Cup to be placed elsewhere to punish Vladimir Putin’s nation.

Both the 2018 tournament in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are being questioned for a number of reasons and now more pressure has been placed on world soccer’s governing body to rethink their decision to award Russia the 2018 showpiece event.

FIFA have recently stated that the World Cup will remain in the Russia, but as conflicts rumble on as well as the uproar caused by the tragic Malaysian Airlines MH17 disaster, there is growing concern over Putin’s administration hosting the world in less than four years time.

Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats party in the UK, described Russia being stripped of the World Cup as being “a very potent political and symbolic sanction.” Downing Street also released a statement on the matter and called for Russia to “change course, before its international standing is damaged even further.” Clegg also went on to state the following when asked about Russia by the Sunday Times in the UK.

“If there’s one thing that Vladimir Putin cares about, as far as I can see, it’s his sense of status,” Clegg said. “Maybe reminding him that you can’t retain the same status in the world if you ignore the rest of the world, maybe that will have some effect on his thinking.  Vladimir Putin himself has to understand that he can’t have his cake and eat it. He can’t constantly… push the patience of the international community beyond breaking point, destabilize a neighboring country, protect these armed separatists in the east of Ukraine and still have the privilege and honor of receiving all the accolades in 2018 for being the host nation of the World Cup.”

With countries such as Britain, the United States and Germany vying to step in for Russia if the 2018 World Cup is taken away from them, Clegg may have an ulterior motive here. Regardless, he brings up salient points about the kind of message it would send out to the rest of the world and the conflicts Russia are involved in.

How do you feel about Clegg’s comments and do you think Russia should be stripped of hosting the 2018 World Cup?

  1. fantom21 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    As long as Germany and England don’t get the cup, I’m fine with Russia not being able to host it. FIFA is all about unity and world peace so it wouldn’t make sense to host the cup in Russia at this time but who knows what will happen in 4 years. If they do decide to strip them of hosting responsibilities, Turkey and Italy should be atop the list of replacement countries.

  2. granadafan - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Qatar should never have gotten the cup. Worst fan experience ever.

    • handsofsweed - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Not to mention the worst player experience ever.

  3. renhoekk2 - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    It seems that corruption and FIFA go hand in hand. The privilege to host the Cup can more or less be bought. How else can you explain the blind eye towards Qatar where several hundred migrant workers have already died. Why don’t countries and professional leagues get together and replace FIFA? FIFA only has the power that National football federations and leagues give it.
    Imagine if some of the large European countries started boycotting the cup. Countries have boycotted the Olympics so it could be done. How much money would Qatar and Russia lose in ticket sales and TV advertising if Germany, England, Spain and other countries pulled out of the cup. They could organize and have their own tournament that ran simultaneously to the Cup. You don’t think TV networks and sponsors wouldn’t line up for that?

  4. toxicviolator - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Well hopefully this non-sense with Russia will be resolved by that time. As for Qatar, yes, it does need to be moved. NO WHERE in the middle east is exactly safe, and the heat levels will be super high. It would be interesting to have Canada/US co-host the cup. Hopefully further raising the popularity of the sport.

  5. nttq83 - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    It is not safe at all to have the World Cup to be held in Russia, period. No one wants to have their national team to get kill like MH17 flying over the war zone, not a safe place. If they do host it there dont think people would risk their lives to go and see the world cup

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