Like Sochi, the West’s Smear Campaign Against Russia’s 2018 World Cup Won’t Work

In the latest of brewing Cold War sentiments between the US and Russia, controversial Republican Senator John McCain recently reissued a demand to pull the plug on Russia’s right to host the World Cup in 2018. Speaking to ESPN/ABC podcast Capital Games program, McCain asked whether it was “appropriate to have this venue in Russia,” — although he’s not the first Republican to struggle at his own language, by venue he must have clearly meant event or tournament — “and aren’t there other countries that would be far less controversial?”

McCain wasn’t finished, adding that FIFA’s decision “absolutely should be reconsidered… [and] I’d like to see the United States and other — say, the British perhaps and other countries — raise the issue in ordinary meetings, periodic meetings that they have.”

Servile disciples of their American suzerains, the British did answer McCain’s call to pile the pressure on Russia, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg telling the Sunday Times that it’s “unthinkable to allow Putin to preside over the biggest event in global sports,” adding that threatening Russia’s 2018 World Cup would be a “very potent political and symbolic sanction.”

This isn’t the first time the West, clearly at political odds with Russia, have called on FIFA to replace the venue of the 2018 World Cup. This past March, two US Senators wrote a letter addressed to FIFA President Sepp Blatter. In their missive, Senators Mark Kirk and Dan Coats, both Republicans, didn’t only ask FIFA to forbid Russia from hosting the World Cup, they also wanted the Russian national team to be banned from participating in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil and in more thespian fashion, to completely expel Russia from FIFA. Their precedent was the Western-imposed ejection of Yugoslavia from both the 1992 European Championships and the 1994 World Cup.

As was expected, after sleazy Western media coverage of the Sochi Olympics, they have now targeted Russia’s legal right to host the 2018 World Cup. Under the pretext that Russia is the culprit behind the still under-investigation Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 disaster, the West and its allies have been unyieldingly castigating Russian. In times that resemble the Cold War more than ever before, the US and Russia have been at political loggerheads since former US President George W. Bush voided the Anti-Ballistic Treaty signed by the two countries in 1972.

When President Putin became president after Boris Yeltsin’s tenure came to an end in 2000, and the US realized Putin wouldn’t be as obeisant as his predecessor, relations began to sour. Clinton was also replaced by President George Bush in that same year, and it took two years of contretemps before Bush did away with the 1972 treaty. This effectively meant that using territory of its NATO allies, the US could place missiles on Russia’s doorstep, like in Poland for example, or Turkey. Several ensuing political differences firmly place the two countries on different ends of the table. From the erstwhile Iraq War and South Ossetia/Abkhazia conflict to the more recent wars in Syria and the Ukraine, time has isolated the two camps greater than it has in recent history.

Instead of using the worthwhile effect sport has on the masses, where it bridges people together casting aside all differences, the US and co. are using a sleazy tactic to do the complete opposite. Imagine a World Cup encounter between Russia and the United States, even though a more interesting bout between the two sides would most likely be in an ice-hockey rink, the adrenaline between both teams would be high and the crowd would love to watch such a heated derby.

Funnily enough, during the Cold War era both the USA and the USSR were a bit more classy; by way of boycotting tournaments such as the Olympics in lieu of threatening each other. The Americans did this for the 1980 Olympics held in Moscow, and the Soviets didn’t go to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Wanting to play the peacemaker, FIFA said that it wants “its tournaments promote dialogue, understanding and peace among peoples,” and has steadfastly rejected any motion to relocate the 2018 World Cup in Russia, adding that it will “achieve a positive change.”

Senator McCain’s last option is to be the better man, and bow out – either bowing out of his preposterous ploy to politicize sport, or to ask the US Men’s National Football team to bow out. And after their performance in Brazil, with their match against Portugal having more viewers than the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final combined, they won’t be so complacent with the idea of boycotting the World Cup.

As for the soccer-loving Brits, no matter how servile they are, they will never boycott a World Cup.

15 thoughts on “Like Sochi, the West’s Smear Campaign Against Russia’s 2018 World Cup Won’t Work”

  1. I am not a fan of mixing politics and sport and yes the western media, especially in the UK, have had a history of biased hysteria when it comes to events hosted outside of Western Europe / North America.

    The mass muggings, kidnappings, roaming packs of skinheads, terrorists from Euro 12, WC’10&14, Sochi – never happened.

    That being said, unilaterally annexing part of another country is a big deal. Having an alleged hand in (intentionally or not), targeting and shooting down a civilian airline is a big deal. Both go beyond standard geo-political one-upmanship. The world is watching.

  2. If FIFA start to banned countries for politic reason, some Western countries like UK, USA, France and other, will not be in any World Cup. UK and USA force have killed thousand innocent people in Iraq for no reason. France and UK invaded Libya left country in worse state than before. The problem with Western countries is they don’t look what they do to other countries; they only look when other countries want to protect themselves. I am Canadian I have been living in France since I was sixteen year old, I always defend my country but this (Russian vs Western), and it is beyond ridiculous.
    The politicians believe we are all ignorant.

    Sorry for English and Gram.

  3. UK and France will never boycott world cup. And in Germany people are really against these Western vs Russian, and will not boycott.

  4. I will not continue viewing this site, if They have the stupidest articles like this one. Keep politics and futbol separate. Putin is a Tyrant and a Land-grabber who still believes it is the 1960s. How many people have ended up in prison or worse because they have spoken out against him?
    Western countries have committed mistakes but that doesn’t mean we allow Russia to get a free pass like this article suggests. Putin is still a terrible man addicted to power, setting up false elections and eliminating his enemies.

    and before you say anything back, think about all the Russians who move to America constantly to get away from putin and Russia. I can’t tell you enough my many Russian friends who have moved here and their families who are still trying to get the US and other places other than Russia.

  5. How many rubles did Putin & RT slip to WST for this propaganda piece? Yes, Euro/US media does tend to be overly critical of host nations, as they were for the last 2 World Cups, but this time there are legitimate concerns surrounding 2018 & 2022

  6. I come here to read articles about the beautiful game. Propaganda like this shouldn’t be allowed on the site. Bad form.

    1. Agreed. I come here for soccer, not to read Pravda.

      As to the point itself regarding the 2018 World Cup, I don’t see anything wrong with the suggestion of movement of the tournament as a potential sanction. If most of the world is united that harsh sanctions on Russia are necessary, pulling this tournament would have amuch greater impact than some of the alternatives.

  7. This is totally irresponsible on behalf of WST to publish this article. I have been a daily reader for years but will be deleting my app after reading this.

  8. American Suzerains? I’m a proud leftie, but is this article penned by Putin’s son?

    You can discuss the merits of keeping/moving the WC without trying to condemn the US’ entire foreign policy.

    Weak article, WST.

  9. Politics and sports have always mixed, always. Anybody who thinks otherwise is profoundly and militantly ignorant. Plenty of dead and living politicians have made it explicit that sport is a stand-in or even a preparation for war. Couch surfing consumers may just want to be entertained but guess what, reality is still out there. This site could use more articles that don’t just spew ESPN style hype and propaganda, so I for one am glad to have seen this posted here. A bit bland maybe, but its a start.

  10. So let me get this straight, I’ve just read an article referencing McCain and Putin and Comrade Trojanovic believes that McCain is the one who is “controversial”.

  11. I have quibbled with the quality of articles on this site in the past but this jumped the shark for me. Regardless of one’s feelings on the matter, allowing such an inherently biased piece to run is the final straw for me as well. I now bid adieu to WST.

    1. Sorry to see you go Brandon.

      If I did the same as you, even with my favorite websites, there’d be zero websites left on my list to visit each day. The article, as are thousands of others on this site (and other sites), is an opinion. As you can see from the above comments, there are some readers who thought the article was excellent. Whether you agree or disagree with the article, to avoid visiting a website because of one article seems silly in my opinion.

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