FIFA World Cup in Russia: Perceived Threats, Politics, Precautions

FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia

Must read

Muscat, Oman – Football has emerged as the world’s leading sports leaving behind other games because of its reach into branches of society, people, regions and nations. According to rough estimate, about 200 million players are active in this game. Due to its shear reach and size, it constitutes a large chunk of the leisure industry market. In a game where popularity is on rise, commercial interest is increasing, Corruptions and Politics are not lagging behind.

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), as world’s governing body of the game, was founded with the goal and objective of constant improvement of football. It has grown to become the largest and the most popular sports federation in the world. It may not be the richest governing body but many charges of corruptions, scandals, wrongdoings, lack of transparencies have marred FIFA’s principles and objectives for which it was created. It has failed far short of credible demonstration of transparency in governance of the sport. Allocation of hosting right to countries has been questioned by many, which can be analyzed in global politics from different angle.

Politics are always being mixed with sports in world arena. It has been seen, whenever there is Olympic or Soccer World Cup or Commonwealth Games or Winter Olympic event, some sort of conflict, threat of boycott, coup, war are started with purpose around that time. It may be because it is easier to maximize media attention to come to limelight more easily. After Russia got the hosting right of FIFA World Cup for 2018, voices from different quarters in the west became significant against corruption in FIFA governing body and Blatter era had to come to an end.

Earlier South Africa, Brazil hosted World Soccer, if logic of favor to BRICS countries is viewed then hosting right to China and India could be seen as next possibility – so they had to get rid of him. In fact, Blatter himself said he became political victim of political battles, he should have expected after hosting right was awarded to South Africa, Brazil and soon after awarding to Russia. When the hosting right was given to Germany, Japan-South Korea and even to US, there was no issue.

Many of the Western power do not like thousands of football fans travel to Russia, enjoy the game, have nice time being in Russia. They do not want Russia successfully hosts the event and creates good image to fans and international travelers. If these happen, it will destroy their myth of projecting “Russia as Country of threat” and prove their claims farce. So undoubtedly, efforts will be made by them to sabotage the World Cup event in 2018. We saw half of the Russian athletes banned on suspicion of drugs at Rio Olympics in Brazil, now that has been withdrawn but purpose was served for them who wanted such action and damage was done to Russian Athletes.

Many possible disturbing incidents may happen, for example, football hooligans may be sent to agitate during the event, some internal protests by citizen may be instigated, Ukraine may be used to engage in provocative military acts in border areas thereby giving opportunity to sell arms in the region, some move of boycott by Ukraine may be initiated, like the US boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow previously, Terrorist attack in Russian soil might be attempted to projects it as reaction to Russia’s Syria attack.

Hosting FIFA World Cup is a prestigious event for Russia. The country shall try to prove many things to the World, particularly many false images being portrayed about the nation. In fact, FIFA Confederation Cup 2017 to be played in Russia during June-July by 8 qualifying soccer nations will be seen as significant event prior to the world cup in 2018. To attract football lovers, the Russian Foreign Ministry has published notification recently stating “Holders of travel passports can travel to each other’s countries visa free and stay up to 90 days out of each 180-day period.” This move clearly shows Russia is determined, serious and prepared to take decisions as needed.

Recent bomb blast in Moscow has given the country’s Intelligence Agency and Internal Security Team an early warning. The country has capable Intelligence Agency, they will undoubtedly handle such terror acts and do all needful to prevent repetition of such acts. One can be sure that the Russian government is prepared for all such potential threats.

Mousumi Roy
+ posts

Mousumi Roy has a Masters (MA - Political Science) from Calcutta University and is a visiting professor of International Relations in Muscat, Oman

More articles

Latest article