Republican Senators Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) (IL) and Dan Coats (IN) sent a letter to FIFA’s chairman Sepp Blatter and demanded the soccer organization ban Russia from the 2014 World Cup and not allow them to host the 2018 World Cup.
In their letter to the Fifa chairman, Sepp Blatter, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) of Illinois and Dan Coates of Indiana, both Republicans, cite the exclusion of Yugoslavia from the 1994 World Cup and say: “Since Russia has similarly displayed a brazen disrespect for fundamental principles of Fifa and international law, [we] hope you will agree that it doesn’t deserve the honour of either hosting the World Cup or participating in one.”
The letter also cites Fifa statutes calling for suspension if a country or people are discriminated against. In October, Fifa sought assurances that Russia’s football federation was taking steps to deal with the problem of racist incidents at matches in the country. The governing body said then that Russia’s hosting of the 2018 tournament was not in jeopardy.
FIFA banned Yugoslavia from the 1994 World Cup because of United Nations sanctions on the country.
Russia does not have a great sports history as of late. They hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which took place before their aggression towards Ukraine. But many world leaders boycotted the opening ceremonies because of Russia’s human rights violations and their anti-gay propaganda law. After they moved in more forces to Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine, more world leaders decided to boycott the Sochi Paralympics, including the US and United Kingdom’s Prince Edward.
There are not any United Nations sanctions against Russia, but the US and European Union did impose their own. The US executed visa bans on Russians and Crimeans who are viewed as a threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty. The EU froze assets of 18 people, including deposed president Viktor Yanukovych, who was responsible for embezzling state funds.