InternationalWorld Cup

Russia Hosting The 2018 World Cup Is A Problem

In case you had forgotten, let me remind you that it is World Cup year and the team here at TEB HQ have you covered from now until the start of the tournament on June 14 with plenty of build up leading into full coverage of the competition.

Asides from the football which is sure to provide plenty of talking points, Russia is hosting the World Cup this year, yes Russia…

I am hoping you are all aware of how Russia have been getting on in a wider sporting context recently. Let’s just say the last couple of years haven’t been the greatest. But as much as Russia have hogged the negative sporting headlines, it seems FIFA didn’t really take too much notice. After all, we are talking about FIFA here.

It’s best to get straight to the crux of my argument now which is that I am completely against Russia hosting the World Cup this summer. The sporting problems in the country are mounting up, but they still get the chance the hold one of the biggest sporting spectacles in the world, despite having been banned from not one, but two Olympics in the past couple of years.

Surely, I’m not the only person who thinks that is wrong?

The world governing body of the game do not seem to make a distinction about these types of matters. For them, whatever way brings in the dosh is where their heads are at. Sadly, it’s not just Russia that I have a problem with hosting the World Cup. Now, I understand I might be getting slightly ahead of myself here but if you thought Russia had problems, Qatar hosting the World Cup is an entirely different proposition. One we might explore in more depth in four years time.

Qatar does not have problems in a sporting sense like Russia, but there is enough time for that to happen if it were to. What they do have though is shocking human rights problems in the country at the moment. FIFA are not bothered. They seemingly don’t care about workers who are dying in the insane Qatari heat building the stadiums required to host such an event. For them, it’s about where they can generate the most revenue.

Let us not get ahead of ourselves, Qatar in 2022 is a long way off, and Russia is the primary focus here. I was debating whether to reel off a list of reasons why I feel Russia shouldn’t have the luxury of hosting the biggest tournament in football, but what the heck:

  • They’ve been found to have run a state-sponsored doping program in Athletics.
  • Some Russian athletes were banned from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and more have been banned from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyongyang, South Korea.
  • If you’re one for juicy political angles, Russia and the Kremlin have been accused by multiple countries of interfering with elections. In the US, Donald Trump’s connections with Russia are currently under investigation whilst it was claimed that Russia tried to ‘tamper’ with the UK election last year.
  • Finally, to compound matters, Russian sport has a serious racism problem that seems to rear its head all too often for my liking.

So there you have it, a list of reasons why the World Cup should not be anywhere near Russia this summer, but I suppose in life you don’t always get your own way.

Before I close, I do want to delve into one of the points above. It is an issue which I am passionate about and that’s doping in sports. I’m not going to go into detail about the state of doping in sport here because I could be a while. However, I do want to put down a few thoughts on Russia’s problems with doping and how I feel it translates considering it is a World Cup year.

Firstly, if you’re unaware of what has gone on in the last few years, I’ll briefly bring you up to speed. Russia was found to have had run a state-sponsored doping program for its athletes. This was unchecked for quite a while before some superb reporting and courageous whistleblowers stepped forward and put it into the public domain. That then sent forth a chain of events which saw some Russian athletes being banned from Rio 2016 and now more recently the 2018 Winter Games.

All the while, top officials in Russia continue to deny it was a state-sponsored doping program. It’s a very interesting story and I’d urge you to go and read up on it – there’s been some cracking stuff on the subject in the media over the past couple of years.

So with Russia having now been ousted for implementing a state-sponsored doping program, that alone should leave you wondering why Russia should get the chance to stage this huge sporting event.

From a sporting context, it’s clear to see that their sporting morals are all wrong. And before I continue I totally get that doping is part and parcel of every sport, and if you don’t believe that, quite frankly you’re living in a fantasy world.

In saying that, why should a country that has so clearly broken the rules in recent years have this opportunity of hosting what is the biggest event in football?

Asides from the well documented sporting problems in Russia, we cannot look past the fact that it’s a country that has other bigger problems, completely separate from sport. And that’s something that makes me slightly uneasy about what we might expect this summer.

 

 

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Michael Stokoe

Michael Stokoe

Michael is an avid football fan growing up through the highs and lows of following Palace. Currently pursuing a career in journalism at the University of Brighton.

2 Comments

  1. Russian Gentleman
    February 13, 2018 at 9:49 am — Reply

    Sounds like you took all “alleged” and some factual points against Russia as a it was a single person and attacked it.
    Sure I’m somewhat aware of doping in sports in Russia and the rest of the world, but you probably won’t write a piece so full of very obvious dislike of single country, when it will come USA to host world cup. Sure you will not bring up the point of most UFC fighters doping, or Lance Armstrong doping. You won’t write in same fashion, because it is simple not gonna be Russia next time. Maybe that’s why ur just a freelance reporter with super narrow and very negative point of view. I’m not a journalist or writer and English is my 3rd language. But I have tons of friends from UK who are british and also open minded. They understand that it’s not one Nations fault, but certain people of power and corrupt mindset. Newsflash Michael they exist everywhere, people dope people cheat people manipulate. From Tonya to Spider Silva to Messi to Sanchez (tax evasion) to Armstrongs… However im sure you have a double standard in your so called passionate point of view and you love Alexis or Leonel because they can do no wrong… So evading taxes and covering for doping in my eyes unsportsmanlike conduct.. and I for one look at all of this as entertainment, and try not to dislike whole country of Brazil because Anderson Silva used illigal performance enhancmemt drugs before fights. And also will have Love for Britain because of cultural impact on civilization and not focus on brutal colonizations of different countries in history.

    Maybe it’ll be very difficult to understand me, because my English writing is full of mistakes, but please understand this: You are a part of a problem and by shedding light on only negative points you spread hatered, not argumentative constructive criticism. However I’m not really worried about you as I do about Fox news per say. Because you’re a very insignificant semipro small platform so called journalist..
    Good day to you .

    • February 13, 2018 at 9:52 pm — Reply

      Hi, I appreciate your message – I’m glad you took the time to read the article. Believe me, I’m well aware of doping in other sports. My passion is cycling and I have seen the sport being dragged through the mud because of doping problems. And yes, I’m fully aware that in other sports athletes will be taking performance enhancing drugs to better themselves. That’s wrong. I watch a lot of football, and do I believe that football has a problem, just no-one has reported on it or looked to uncover.

      With regards to Russia, you can’t get away from the fact that the country has had unbelievable problems with regards to sports in the last couple of years. I’ve followed the story closely and I’ve tried to portray my feelings on the subject, I researched it thoroughly and made sure the facts were right, the piece was a personal point of view – I don’t think Russia should get this privilege of hosting the event. And to be fair it’s not like FIFA didn’t about the problems before they awarded Russia as host country.

      I wouldn’t say I have spread hatred, I’ve just put across my point of view on the subject – it’s up to you what way you take it. Call me what I want, but I’m working hard to become a sports journalist, so when I’m a ‘full-time’ writer we can chat some more…

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