FIFA’s responsibility to hold Mr Putin to account

21 July 2014 Comments 5

The dreadful incident which saw 298 innocent passengers and crew seemingly shot from the skies on flight MH17, was an abhorrent act. While there’s currently no certainty about who was responsible, the plane was brought down in an area of Ukraine which is occupied by Russian-backed rebels. Consequently, world leaders from all corners have pointed to the potential involvement of Russia itself – a nation that FIFA has triumphantly championed as a future host of the FIFA World Cup.

I’m happy to admit that government politics is not something I’m equipped to discuss, but I have been known to take the odd run at world sport’s ability – even responsibility – to reflect the views of the global community. So this morning I was very interested to be made aware of a petition which implores FIFA to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the civilised world and threaten withdrawal of Russia’s right to stage the World Cup in 2018 unless they provide maximum cooperation.

The petition brings into sharp focus the fact that sport and politics DO mix and sport DOES have a part to play in global affairs. It is addressed to FIFA President, Sepp Blatter and FIFA’s Executive Committee and says: “Let President Putin know that Russia will lose the 2018 World Cup if Russia does not cooperate with the international community.” Within its argument the petition reflects that; “FIFA is uniquely placed to show moral turpitude…”

I couldn’t agree more. The petition is available on this link . It has been created by the Australian website, ‘Football Today’ ( and is being hosted by the internationally renowned website

The world is currently seeking answers to what happened over Ukraine airspace last week and you will all undoubtedly be aware of the current level of international condemnation of Russia’s possible involvement which makes this such a valid cause. Over the weekend the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott said it was likely the plane was brought down by Russian rebels using Russian-supplied heavy artillery. He said: “Anyone who gave such a weapon to people who are absolutely incapable of using it has a heavy responsibility.”

The U.S. Secretary Of State, John Kerry said: “There’s an enormous amount of evidence that points to the involvement of Russia” and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron added that Europe and the West… “must fundamentally change our approach to Russia.”

So too should FIFA and the message is clear. Football’s world governing body should align itself with growing world opinion and threaten to withdraw its intention to ‘reward’ Russia with global prestige and billions of dollars worth of commercial benefit. I urge each and everyone of you to sign the petition.

The International Olympic Committee drew heavy criticism for its selection of the Russian City of Sochi as host for this year’s Winter Olympics because of Russia’s unacceptable Human Rights record. FIFA now has to show it’s mettle.

So, as one member in a world population of 7 billion, I urge you to sign the petition – as a mark of respect for the 298 who no longer have that option and their families.


5 comments on "FIFA’s responsibility to hold Mr Putin to account"

  1. martin dugdale on 21 July 2014


  2. cdh on 21 July 2014

    I don’t think politics are your forte.Your opinion is your right but you sound like a whinny old woman.Stick to what you do best..

    • Jaimie Fuller SKINS Chairman on 21 July 2014

      the notion that sport and politics don’t mix is rubbish, in my opinion. we saw the power of sport when it came to bringing apartheid south africa into the new world and we continue to see how big a role it plays in politics.
      sorry you don’t agree

  3. Ivan Y on 21 July 2014

    I’m flabbergasted at this petition and this blog post. There’s absolutely no credible evidence that Russia or Ukrainian rebels are involved and they ARE fully cooperating unlike they Ukrainian government that is not letting investigators visit the crash site under the pretense that safety can’t be guaranteed even though OSCE commission has visited the site and rebels protected them.

    So, I’m generally supportive of this blog but this is a complete nonsense until a full investigation has been completed OR it emerges that Russia is stonewalling. However the incident occurred on the Ukrainian territory so what this has to do with Russia is a huge question.

    As someone who has family in both countries, I don’t think you appreciate what’s going on in Eastern Ukraine. Sure, they may speak Russian language like majority of Ukraine but that doesn’t automatically mean they want to secede and join Russia. Wanting more rights and more autonomy for your region is a completely valid point of view that the government of Ukraine that came into power via an illegal coup has been trying to suppress by shelling and bombarding cities instead of peaceful negotiations.

    And, on top of it all, let’s not even talk about extreme nationalists (read, neo Nazis) that helped stage the coup and are now terrorizing civilians and not just in Eastern Ukraine.

    TL;DR version — Russia has a lot of problems that can be critiqued but this is not one of them. Please be more mindful before you post something like this.

    • Jaimie Fuller SKINS Chairman on 21 July 2014

      let’s be clear about a couple of facts. the territory concerned is controlled by pro-russia forces and they are preventing the authorities from recovering the bodies and undertaking an appropriate investigation. to infer that russia (and mr putin) have no influence over the pro-russian forces i think is unreasonable.
      in the interests of everyone but especially the families of the dead, immediate access to the site must be granted. it’s probably too late now in some respects for a proper investigation, let alone treating the dead with the care and respect that they deserve. russia and mr putin have done nothing in the last 4 days to convince anyone otherwise when timing has been critical. continued obfuscation and delays is wrong and pressure must be brought to bear however it can NOW.
      as to your assertion that there’s no evidence, let the airplane crash authorities have their access and let’s get to the bottom of the truth. in the meantime that becomes more remote every day that looting continues