The animosity brewing between Russia and the United States has extended into the sports world.
Alexander Sidyakin and Michael Markelov, two members of Russia’s Duma (parliament), have written an open letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter asking him to expel the United States Soccer Federation from world soccer’s governing body and prevent the United States men’s national team from competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, according to ESPN and Reuters.
In their March 11 letter, Sidyakin and Markelov claim the "USA’s military aggression against several sovereign states" (namely Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria) and cases of human rights violation all over the world revealed by E. Snowden, "are reason enough for FIFA to "urgently convene an emergency session to consider suspending USA’s membership in FIFA and denying the U.S. team the right to participate in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil."
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Citing Russian Russian website Newsru, ESPN reports the parliamentarians’ letter comes as "ball-for-ball" response to a petition circulated by USA senators Dan Coates and Mark Kirk, which asks FIFA to prohibit Russia from competing at the World Cup because of its military action in the Ukrainian region of Crimea.
According to the report, the politicians’ aggressive stance against the United States stems from USA’s alleged involvement against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria.