Commentary

Russia 2018: You won't hear a lot of the 'b' word

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.

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko 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 watch matches.

"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."
13 comments about "Russia 2018: You won't hear a lot of the 'b' word".
  1. ROBERT BOND, March 3, 2017 at 7:59 a.m.

    i'm not going.....saw DFB v Czechs in Hamburg, and will see them in Nuernberg v San Marino, not giving 1 ruble to someone who shoots down civilian planes!!!!

  2. Nick Daverese, March 3, 2017 at 9:34 a.m.

    i dId business in Russia and in Germany, turkey and in Uzbekistan and here in the United States before I retired. You do business any where you can make money.

    So you won't go to Russia to see their football because you don't like that they did something outside. Your an amature soccer fan my friend.

    The only reason I did not go to Brazil to see their World Cup is because it can be too dangerous to go. Their homeless kids are mostly glue sniffers that rob people and they kill tourists and their own. The store owners hire hit squads which happen to be their police to kill them.

  3. Wooden Ships replied, March 3, 2017 at 9:55 a.m.

    Nick, your amateur soccer fan comment is incongruent. Sounds like you lack limits, business without worry of consequence? Do you stand for anything? You can throw naïveté back at me, but the question still remains?

  4. Nick Daverese, March 3, 2017 at 10:12 a.m.

    You ever been to Uzbekistan they hate Americans there. Except their military they love us if they can make money from us. I was taken to their holy city Samarkand it's truly a beautiful place.

    All Muslims love us if they can make money from us it's true.

    We love all Muslims if they work cheap. Germany love muslems for their cheap labor. We love Mexicans for their cheap labor.

    We love everyone if we can make money off them.

    We would love them all if they had a trade we could make money from.

    That what we all stand for even you if you were a contractor for example.

  5. ROBERT BOND replied, March 3, 2017 at 10:53 a.m.

    maybe my plane gets shot down? SA, Brazil, Russia, jails aren't much....

  6. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 3, 2017 at 11:32 a.m.

    Sounds like Nick loves sweeping generalizations.

  7. Nick Daverese, March 3, 2017 at 2:29 p.m.

    I think my generalizations are true.

    If you were a contractor who would you hire. Your helpers would be the cheap workers. You would not even apprentice them so one day they could be a licensed contractor, and start their own businesses.

    I will tell what Hispanic contractors like. They love illegal Hispanics who can't speak English. So they can't promote themselves to people who may like their work, but can't communicate with them.

    In Germany what is important to them. People with a great college education or people coming in that are tradesmen like Carpenters. It carpenters my friend.

  8. Wooden Ships replied, March 4, 2017 at 10:36 a.m.

    Nick, to a large extent I agree with your observations, but individuals can choose to not exploit others. FIFA and many governments, organizations, have corruption. That is a sad state of human affairs. That's how we wound up with Rissia and Qatar. I'm not a supporter of boycotts in soccer or sport. The players/athletes deserve their moment. Myself, once Russia went into Crimea, if I ran FIFA, I would have denied them the Cup. And, Qatars treatment of the workers would have led me to the same decision. Where possible we must promote standards and principles.

  9. beautiful game, March 4, 2017 at 10:10 p.m.

    Wooden Ships u are on the money...FIFA is the same as the IOC; it's always the money, not the sport. WC tournaments start 3-4 weeks after the league season is over. All the top players play a minimum of about 45 to 75 competitive games...anyone think these players are at full tilt?

  10. Bob Ashpole, March 6, 2017 at 4:47 a.m.

    I didn't go to South Africa or Brazil and I have no desire to go to Russia either. I certainly won't go to Qatar. What was FIFA thinking? Oh yeah, that.

  11. Daniel Clifton, March 6, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

    Interesting discussion. It is crystal clear why Qatar was awarded a World Cup. Remember the old song: "Money make the world go around, the world go around, . . ."

  12. frank schoon, March 6, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

    Looks like we're all in agreement on this ship

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, March 6, 2017 at 10:38 p.m.

    Quick, someone take a picture. It will probably never happen again!

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