While Western politicians strongly supported the arrests of FIFA officials, in other parts of the world the events in Zurich were immediately seen as just another geopolitical play. In Russia, Vladimir Putin argued that the arrests amounted to a case of over-reach by US law enforcement agencies. China also criticised the arrests, with a Xinhua editorial complaining that it was “a bad example of overrun of unilateral power”.
In this polarising geopolitical discourse, calls by Western politicians for Russia to lose the right to stage the 2018 World Cup are likely to do more harm than good. Labour Party leadership contender Andy Burnham is the latest politician to link the FIFA investigation to Russia’s role in the war in Ukraine, and to press for a boycott of the 2018 competition.… Seguir leyendo »