Friday, 14 March 2014
Russians call for U.S. World Cup ban
Members of the Russian parliament have written to FIFA asking it to consider excluding Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA team from the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
Alexander Sidyakin and Michael Markelov, two members of the Duma, addressed their concern about the “U.S.’s military aggression against several sovereign states” and named Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria among those suffering from U.S. aggression.
They also included “numerous cases of human rights violation all over the world revealed by E. Snowden,” and asked FIFA to “urgently convene an emergency session to consider suspending U.S.’s membership in FIFA and denying the U.S. team the right to participate in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.”
The letter, dated March 11, 2014, cited Article 3 of the FIFA statutes which says that “discrimination of any kind against country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”
“It’s an eye for an eye, a ball for a ball. Don’t the let the USA take part in the 2014 World Cup! End their membership of FIFA,” one of the authors of the article, Aleksandr Sidyakin said on Twitter.
According to the Russian website Newsru, Sidyakin explained that the letter is a reaction to a petition by U.S. senators Mark Kirk and Dan Coates, who appealed to FIFA to ban Russia from the World Cup in the light of the ongoing situation in Crimea.
Kirk and Coates were not alone in asking FIFA to punish Russia for their political standoff with Ukraine.
Last week, BBC journalist Chris Morris reported that an EU official had suggested that there would be a push for Russia to be barred from this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
However, speaking to CNN, UEFA president Michel Platini dismissed those suggestions, and explained that it is wrong to take a political situation into the sporting arena.
Platini said: "I don't know why 11 players would not be allowed to play at the World Cup. Where is their responsibility? Why don't you [shut down] the Embassy? Embassies are still in the country."