Two Republican U.S. senators sent a letter to FIFA president Joseph "Sepp" Blatter on Friday, asking that he strip Russia's FIFA membership and move the 2018 World Cup out of the country.
The request was made in light of what Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dan Coats (R-Ind.) called a "military occupation of a sovereign Ukraine."
The senators referenced FIFA's denial to allow Yugoslavia to participate in the 1992 European Championship and 1994 World Cup and cited Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes, which is labeled "Non-discrimination and stance against racism."
Article 3 reads: "Discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion."
The letter also requests Russia be denied participation in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Russia is in Group H and could feasibly face the United States in the round of 16 should both countries advance from their groups. The teams met in a November 2012 friendly in Krasnodar, Russia.
The senators do not offer any suggestions, but "ask that a more deserving World Cup 2018 bid should be re-considered instead."
Representatives from FIFA could not be reached at the time of publication.
- Sports & Recreation
- 2018 World Cup