13 U.S. senators call on FIFA to strip Russia of 2018 World Cup

FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter with Russian President Vladimir Putin the symbolic hand over of the FIFA World Cup from Brazil to Russia.
Alexander Hassenstein - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

By Marcus Kwesi O'Mard

If a group of United States senators have their way, FIFA will shock the soccer world and move the next World Cup.

Robert Menendez and Ron Johnson led a group of 13 senators, who called on FIFA President Sepp Blatter to strip Russia of the hosting rights to the 2018 World Cup on Wednesday, according to Reuters. The senators’ letter cites Russia’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and its occupation of Crimea as principle reasons why it believes FIFA should stage the next World Cup in another country.

“Allowing Russia to host the FIFA World Cup inappropriately bolsters the prestige of the (Russian President Vladimir) Putin regime at a time when it should be condemned and provides economic relief at a time when much of the international community is imposing economic sanctions,” the senators reportedly wrote to FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

The Senators also released a statement to the media that furtherexplains their efforts, according to Four Four Two.

“With the goal of ending the crisis in Ukraine and ensuring a successful 2018 World Cup, we strongly encourage FIFA to deny the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup and make preparations for an alternate host country.”

Menendez and Johnson serve on the senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. John McCain and Richard Durbin also joined the other high-ranking officials in co-signing the letter.

The senators also sent a copy of the letter to the United States Soccer Federation.


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