FIFA on Friday said it remains committed to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, despite the Kremlin’s conflict with Ukraine, claiming that a boycott would not be an effective way of reducing tensions in the region. Earlier this week, German politicians suggested stripping Russia of the 2018 tournament as punishment for backing the rebels fighting with the Ukrainian government, although Moscow claims it has no link with the separatists.
"FIFA deplores any form of violence and will continue to use its tournaments to promote dialogue, understanding and peace among peoples,” soccer’s world governing body said in a statement. “History has shown so far that boycotting sport events or a policy of isolation or confrontation are not the most effective ways to solve problems."
FIFA said the World Cup could be a "powerful catalyst for constructive dialogue between people and governments", uniting teams and nations. FIFA is convinced that, through football, particularly the FIFA World Cup and its international spotlight, we can achieve positive change in the world, but football cannot be seen as a solution for all issues, particularly those related to world politics. We have seen that the FIFA World Cup can be a force for good and FIFA believes this will be the case for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia."