Moscow has been busily preparing its facilities to host the 2018 World Cup games. Not only has Moscow been part of this but so have other places around the Russian Federation. However, there is a push on in the Western nations for the officials of six countries (Poland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Australia and Japan) to boycott the event.
That’s fine. Stay home. Russia doesn’t need you here anyway if you don’t want to be here.
The London tabloid The Sun ran this report in the evening of March 26th, 2018. In its piece it elicited the “outrageous” attack on Sergei Skripal and his daugher Yulia, pinned the blame for this attack on Russia, and on President Vladimir Putin in particular, and then went on weaving false narratives with the same aplomb as that of a drunken sailor on a rant:
SIX countries are also planning state boycotts of the World Cup in Russia to show solidarity with Britain. Officials from the close ally nations are all now likely to snub Moscow’s invitations to the tournament after the Salisbury outrage, The Sun has been told.
The communal snubs come after Theresa May’s announcement last week that Prince William and all her government ministers will refuse to play any part in the competition. And they are another boost for the PM in her stand off against Vladimir Putin.
Polish President Andrzej Duda was the first world leader to stand alongside Mrs May by revealing he has refused to go to the tournament’s opening ceremony in Moscow on June 14. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson urged Prince William not to attend the World Cup this summer, before the decision was made he would not go.
Foreign Affairs Committee member and Labour MP Ian Austin said of the boycott: “It is great to see solidarity from our allies on this. It is right for our governments not to give any help to Putin abusing the World Cup for his own self-glorification.”
Australia has since reportedly denied being involved in the boycott.
While the officials of these nations refuse to go to Russia, their teams and fans of said teams, still are going. Why? Well, it would be unseemly to prevent the teams from playing, goes the rhetoric. After all, football (soccer) is a sport with some 2 billion fans.
So, while the World Cup games unfold across Russia, to the delight and surprise of the many thousands of new visitors to Russia (who will no doubt start asking themselves “what is all this Russia nonsense about? This place is GREAT!!!”) the games will be remarkably free of one thing.
Hot air and windbags.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.