FIFA Rejects Calls From Two U.S. Senators To Ban Russia From World Cup 2014
FIFA rejected U.S. senators' call to ban Russia from the 2014 World Cup "in response to the Kremlin's position on Ukraine," according to the VOICE OF RUSSIA. Senators Dan Coats and Mark Kirk sent a letter to FIFA requesting it "strip Russia from its right to host the World Cup in 2018" and ban it from this year's event. In a response letter, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke told the U.S. lawmakers FIFA rules and regulations do not apply to "entities outside the pyramidal structure of the game of football." He added that "individual teams could not be banned from a competition because of actions by their parent states" (VOICE OF RUSSIA, 4/3). REUTERS' Patricia Zengerle wrote Coats said on Wednesday that FIFA "was wrong when it refused to kick Russia out of this year's World Cup and bar it from hosting the tournament in 2018 over its occupation of Crimea." Coats said, "FIFA suggests that outrageous misbehavior by member states does not matter because such decisions are irrelevant to soccer." Coats noted that Yugoslavia was banned from int'l competition in '92 and '94 "because of its behavior during the Balkan wars, a matter unconnected to the playing field." Coats: "I continue to call upon FIFA leadership to impose the same punishment on Russia" (REUTERS, 4/3).