US, Russia each want other out of World Cup

Cold War sporting diplomacy is back, baby!

When two global superpowers start eyeing one another with suspicion, grumbling about how they don't like one another, and making pointed gestures towards this or that part of the map, you can be sure that trans-national sporting events will be dragged into things before too long.

Two Republican Senators, Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Dan Coats (Indiana), have written a letter to FIFA stating that "in light of Russia's military occupation of a sovereign Ukraine", the governing body should consider "stripping Russia of the right to host the 2018 World Cup, and denying the Russian National team the right to participate in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil."

They quote Article 3 of the FIFA statutes, which prohibits "discrimination of any kind against a country", and cite the precedent of the exclusion of then-Yugoslavia from the 1992 European Championships and the 1994 World Cup.

How to respond, Russia? Well, Duma Deputy Alexander Sidyakin charged onto that well-known haven of diplomatic negotiation Twitter to state "an eye for an eye, a ball for a ball", and began his own letter to FIFA with the following:

In light of US's military aggression against several sovereign states such as Yugoslavia with no particular reason; Iraq and Libya — alleged search chemical weapons; attempt to invade and occupy Syria and numerous cases of human rights violations all over the world revealed by E. Snowden ...

File under: nostalgic eighties revivalism is really getting out of hand.

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