Tags: John McCain | Russia | Ukraine | World Cup | soccer | Russia | FIFA

Sen. McCain Pitches FIFA to Take 2018 World Cup Away From Russia

Image: Sen. McCain Pitches FIFA to Take 2018 World Cup Away From Russia
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 04:09 PM

Sen. John McCain wants soccer officials around the world to consider moving the 2018 World Cup games from Russia to send a direct signal to Vladimir Putin that his conduct in Ukraine is unacceptable.

The Arizona Republican, who made the suggestion on the ESPN/ABC podcast "Capital Games," says the United States should not go it alone, but should seek support from Britain and other ally nations to mutually encourage FIFA, the World Cup's governing body, to reconsider where the next games will be held, ABC News reported.

McCain is joined in his bipartisan call to action over the World Cup by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat who has worked closely with the senior Senate Foreign Relations Committee member in support in Ukraine's government.

"It absolutely should be reconsidered, but I would hasten to add that a unilateral decision by the United States would not bode well," McCain told ABC News.

"I'd like to see the United States and others — say, the British perhaps and other countries — raise the issue in ordinary meetings, periodic meetings, that they have," he said. "Say, 'we need to discuss this issue. Is it appropriate to have this venue in Russia at this particular time, and aren't there other countries that would be far less controversial?'"

The United States and the European Union have joined to put increasing sanctions on Russia. They announced Tuesday they will target state-owned banks as well as oil and weapons manufacturing concerns to stop Putin from continuing his efforts to arm separatists amid fears he will seek more territories in the region, beyond simply Crimea, CNN reported.

A growing group is rising up in protest against Russia hosting the games, while Putin seems unfazed by the sanctions and outcry over his actions, The Washington Post reported.

"If Putin doesn't actively cooperate on clearing up the plane crash, the soccer World Cup in Russia in 2018 is unimaginable," Peter Beuth, the interior minister of the German state of Hesse, told the German newspaper Bild, the Post noted.

Stripping Putin of the games could deflate his arrogance in the world as he acts unilaterally in Ukraine, wrote one Daily Beast columnist.

"How does one punish the autocratic, omnipotent president of a quasi-superpower? It is much harder to do so than to spank the piddling ruler of a smallish rogue state, but options exist," wrote Tunku Varadarajan in a column published July 20.

"Putin believes that a World Cup in Russia can be sold to his people as an endorsement of his rule. Why should the world become an accomplice in a dictator's Ponzi scheme of pride?" he wrote.

"As he preened for the cameras at the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, it was clear that Putin regards Russia's staging of the Cup's next edition as a propaganda godsend, a global vote for his achievements. Imagine his consternation if he were prevented from putting on such a show," Varadarajan said.


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Sen. John McCain wants soccer officials around the world to consider moving the 2018 World Cup games from Russia to send a direct signal to Vladimir Putin that his conduct in Ukraine is unacceptable.
World Cup, soccer, Russia, FIFA, McCain, take away, remove
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2014-09-31
Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 04:09 PM
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