You can't go an hour without hearing more news about investigations into Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
What you don't hear a lot of is the "b" word:
boycott the 2018 World Cup. In the United States, it is not a ripe issue. There's no point discussing a boycott of an event to which you aren't sure of qualifying.
has been talking boycott, though.
“I think there has to be discussion of a boycott of this World Cup," he said
. "As long as there are Russian troops in Ukraine, I
think a World Cup in that country is unthinkable."
For German tabloid Bild, Poroshenko put it in soccer terms: how can you keep soccer and politics separate when Shakhtar Donetsk,
Ukraine's most successful club in recent years, has to play 700 miles away in Lviv because Donetsk is occupied by pro-Russia separatists?
British lawmakers want nothing to do with a
boycott. The Foreign Affairs committee reported that the World Cup should be used to "to enhance and repair the wider relationship between the UK and Russia, rather than boycott sport in response to
other strained aspects of UK-Russia relations." It added that any decision should be made for sporting -- not political -- reasons.
There are many reasons to worry about a Russia World
Cup, among them the country's record of racism and homophobia. One of the big threats to the tournament is hooliganism. Russia was almost kicked out of Euro 2016 because of the behavior of Russian
fans in Marseille for the match against England.
To crack down on hooliganism, FIFA and Russia organizers are formulating a plan to have identity cards issued to fans before they can
"Every fan will be required to have a fan ID to enter the stadiums, both for the Confederations Cup and for FIFA World Cup," Colin Smith
, director of competitions
for FIFA, says, "and so we have got trust in the authorities that everything will be done."