Washington: Prominent US senators John McCain and Robert Menendez have written to FIFA asking it to strip Russia of the right to host the 2018 football World Cup due to its alleged aggression in Ukraine.
The senators also want FIFA to reconsider its support for Sepp Blatter's bid for a fifth term as president of football's governing body due to his continued support for Russia hosting the World Cup, and to deny Moscow the privilege of staging one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
In their letter, the senators noted the economic support that hosting the World Cup would provide President Vladimir Putin in contravention of multilateral sanctions that have been imposed against Russia for its continued aggression in Ukraine.
"The next president of FIFA has a responsibility to ensure not only a safe and successful 2018 World Cup, but the endurance of the FIFA mission that claims to promote football 'globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values," the two senators wrote.
"We strongly encourage you to elect a president who will uphold these values and work to deny the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup," McCain and Menendez said.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter is running for a fifth term, with the election scheduled to take place at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29.
"In light of President Blatter's continued support for Russia hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup - despite Russia's ongoing violations of Ukraine's territorial integrity and other challenges to the post-WWII security architecture - we ask that you reconsider your support for President Blatter's fifth term as FIFA President," the letter said....