A few countries such as England and Poland have declared they will boycott the tournament this year by pulling out their teams and refusing to send government representatives to the games. In addition, some fans have declared their protest through social media and soccer-watching apps by refusing to watch the tournament they impatiently anticipate every four years.
“The 2018 World Cup was awarded way back in 2010 and I was happy at the time about it being in Russia, but it wasn’t clear at that time how much corruption was involved both inside and outside of Fifa,” Julian Wait, Ann Richards parent and British immigrant said. “When that corruption became clear and visible, I made the decision that I would not watch the finals, the finals being the tournament part that is held in Russia in 2018. I will also be boycotting 2022 for the same reasons in terms of corruption in the awards process of the finals themselves for host countries.”
There are several allegations of Russia playing a role in the political outcomes of several powerful nations. First, Russia’s interference with the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections is in the middle of an investigation right now. Secondly, the poisoning of a former English spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, sponsored by the Russian government is under the microscope presently. Australia, Poland, Japan, and England are considering boycotting the 2018 World Cup due to this attack.
“It is extraordinary that an international sporting event designed to promote peace is being held in a country that has bought it with corrupt money,” Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in England said to DailyMail. “While using murder as an instrument of state policy.’
Some politically active fans are wary of supporting a country that has so recently interfered with democracy on multiple occasions. However, others prioritize their support of the unity displayed in these tournaments over their political standings.
“I’m in complete support of boycotting the World Cup because it’s meant to be a tournament that is an honor and brings people together to celebrate soccer,” Sophie Ward (11), varsity soccer player for Ann Richards said. “Although FIFA itself is not the most respectable organization, my reasons for boycotting the 2018 World Cup has everything to do with Russia’s political status.”