world cup blog 011

Can we  separate  a  country’s actions on the field of battle  from their aspirations regarding hosting the world cup? Are there  any  countries  with truly  clean  hands anymore?

When Russia  began to undermine the security of Ukraine  and then  attacked it outright,  one week  after  hosting a beautiful Winter Olympics,  it certainly felt as though there  were no morality left in international  sports.  Imagine  a World Cup  held in the same country  just four years later? It would be  as though  we didn’t know  or care  what  was  happening in the Ukraine and would be  a triumph for those who  want sports to be the opium of the people  and not  a triumph of peace and humanism.

Apparently  in Russia today  there is  no  objective depiction of the events in Ukraine in the’news'(if we can call  biased  state-orchestrated  journalism  that).  The West is blamed for  all of the  violence there, including the missile  attack on a passenger jet this summer.   As a consequence, the Russian population  have difficulty  perceiving and responding to their own country’s cynicism and cruelty  in the Ukraine.(Remember  that  Afghanistan  fell into  chaos  after the Russian invasion in the late  1970’s)  Should the lovers of World Football be as silent?

Of course, the media in North America has its own bias  and the West is far from perfect  in their involvement in other countries’ affairs,  but  ask  Ukrainians what is happening on the ground and you  will probably find that  even the ‘referendum’ in Crimea was  carried out under  Russian militants’ threats  toward the Tatar population in that province.

This watercolour  depicts a stadium  in which the players  are replaced by tombstones,  which is perhaps  what  we  would all keep in mind  if we  had any sense of history,  considering that  Stalin caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainians by forced famines  less than a century ago…