Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

If FIFA Were to Ban Russia, Israel Would be Next in Line

Two US senators have suggested sanctioning Russia in light of annexing Crimea; if that were to happen, Israel would be playing in this year’s FIFA World Cup tournament, the first time since 1970

By: Daniel Koren

Published: March 24th, 2014 in Sports » World

If you were having a tough time putting together your political views on Russia’s annexation of Crimea last week, perhaps this news could help put it in light for you.

Two American senators, Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dan Coates (R-Ind.) have suggested via a letter to FIFA Chairman Sepp Blatter that Russia be suspended from participating in World Cup 2014 in Brazil as punishment for their actions.

“In light of Russia’s military occupation of a sovereign Ukraine, we respectfully ask that you urgently convene an emergency session of FIFA to consider suspending Russia’s membership in FIFA, 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,” the letter read, adding that Russia “does not deserve the honor of either hosting the World Cup or participating in one.”

Regarding the farmer, Blatter had already confirmed that Russia would be hosting the 2018 World Cup.

If Russia were to be suspended, this would mean that Israel, which would be next in line on the list, would take their place, bringing the blue-and-white squad to the World Cup games for the first time since 1970.

It would be their second appearance ever at a FIFA World Cup tournament.

Israel finished third in Group F during the qualification tournament, ranking behind Russia and Portugal. They had a good run, but ultimately lost a decisive match to Russia 3-1 which sealed the deal.

The senators’ letter to Blatter stated that, as per Article 3 of the FIFA statutes, “discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

Both the US and Europe have imposed economic sanctions against Russia for its occupation of Ukrainian military bases. If Blatter agrees, and follows suit on behalf of FIFA, it’s going to completely change the scenery in the Holy Land come June 12th.

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