Sens. Menendez, McCain Call on FIFA Congress to Elect New FIFA President that Would Deny Russia 2018 World Cup

Sens. Menendez, McCain Call on FIFA Congress to Elect New FIFA President that Would Deny Russia 2018 World Cup


NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and John McCain (R- Ariz.) sent a letter encouraging Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Congress to reconsider its support for President Sepp Blatter’s fifth term as FIFA President in light of his continued support for Russia’s hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

In the letter, the Senators note the economic support that hosting the World Cup would provide President Putin in contravention of multilateral sanctions that have been imposed against Russia for Putin’s continued aggression in Ukraine. 

They call for a president that will instead uphold FIFA’s mission and deny Russia the 2018 World Cup, writing: “The next president of FIFA has a responsibility to ensure not only a safe and successful 2018 World Cup, but the endurance of the FIFA mission that claims to promote football “globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values.”  We strongly encourage you to elect a president who will uphold these values and work to deny the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup.”

The letter can be found below and downloaded here.

FIFA Congress
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
FIFA-Strasse 20
P.O. Box 8044
Zurich, Switzerland

Dear Members of the FIFA Congress:

President Sepp Blatter is running for a fifth term as FIFA President, with the election scheduled to take place at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29, 2015. In light of President Blatter’s continued support for Russia hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup – despite Russia’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and other challenges to the post-WWII security architecture – we ask that you reconsider your support for President Blatter’s fifth term as FIFA President.

As you know, more than a year has passed since Russian troops and Russian-backed separatists began their dismemberment of Ukraine, which continues to this day in violation of both Minsk I and Minsk II ceasefire agreements. At the same time, NATO has intercepted more than 100 Russian aircraft in NATO territory since the beginning of 2014. Russia has also opted out of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty that has been a mainstay of European security since 1992. Given Russia’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and Putin’s efforts to undermine the principles of multilateral cooperation, shared norms, and international security agreements, we believe that allowing Russia to host the World Cup would bolster the Putin regime at a time when it should be condemned.

More than 40 countries, all FIFA members, have imposed sanctions on Russia in an effort to influence events on the ground in Ukraine. By allowing Russia to host the tournament, FIFA would offer an economic lifeline to the Putin regime in contravention of the multilateral sanctions that have been imposed by the international community.

The next president of FIFA has a responsibility to ensure not only a safe and successful 2018 World Cup, but the endurance of the FIFA mission that claims to promote football “globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values.” We strongly encourage you to elect a president who will uphold these values and work to deny the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup.

Sincerely,

###