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Should Russia be hosting the World Cup?

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Jun 15, 2018
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Should Russia be hosting the World Cup?

When Russia was selected to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, many people criticized the choice due to alleged racism in the Russian Football Union, Russia's anti-gay discrimination, and Russia's military involvement in Ukraine. There was also an investigation (and re-investigation) into Russia's bidding process and allegations of corruption, but Russia was cleared. Although there were calls to move the tournament, FIFA President Sepp Blatter declined requests to move it. 

The accusations of racism have primarily centered around the Russian Football Union downplaying or ignoring racist changes within the league, including so-named "monkey" chants that involve making ape-like noises at black players. There are no legal protections nor recognition of relationships for LGBT people in Russia, and there has recently been a surge in violent hate crimes, including murder, and homophobic propaganda. Although this sort of violence and propaganda is not officially sanctioned by the government, they have done little to address it. Finally, Russia has been criticized for its annexation of Crimea, which violated Russian-signed agreements respecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine. After the annexation, sanctions were put in place against Russia, and British Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, specifically worked to move the World Cup. However, since this occurred in 2014, it was not follow up on. 

It's obviously too late now, but should the tournament have been moved? Should people protest the World Cup? I personally think that it should have been moved, but it does politicize the World Cup in a way I wish we could avoid. I'm also not going to protest (i.e. not watch) the World Cup, because I support the other countries involved, as well as the players. What are thoughts on this?

Image credit: https://alphanews.live/sports/deite-poies-omades-ekleisan-mechri-stigmes-these-sto-moyntial-tes-rosias

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