Is the World Cup in Russia at risk due to a possible World War?

History indicates that before the minor military incident involving Russia and another world power the sporting event would be canceled

Is the World Cup in Russia at risk due to a possible World War?

The world has been convulsed in recent days by the US attack on Syria ordered by the president of a superpower, Donald Trump. The attack on this Asian country generated enough unrest in Russia, an ally of the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad. The bombing carried out by the American, French and British Military Forces destroyed, according to these countries, Syrian regime chemical weapons production centers.

Leer en español: ¿Está en riesgo el mundial de Rusia por una posible Guerra Mundial?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already warned his American counterpart that if military actions are repeated against Damascus, the Syrian capital, this would end in an "inevitable" chaos in international relations.

A possible resurgence of the cold war between Russia and the United States causes fear throughout the world. One of the main (and most immediate) consequences could be that it affects the realization of the World Cup that starts on June 14, but that will begin to receive tourists and selections from May.

There is already a precedent, during the Second World War that faced Germany, Japan, and Italy, against France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union, the World Cups of 1942 and 1946 had to be canceled.

That is why, in the event of the intervention of the Russian Military Forces, Fifa must take this measure. Due to the proximity of the event, it will be very unlikely that it will be decided to change the venue. Another option that the governing body of world football can take is to postpone it and carry it out in another country that complies with the logistics and infrastructure facilities. These could be Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa, France, Spain, and Italy (countries that meet most of the requirements, since they have hosted World Cups in the past and their facilities are modern).

However, the costs that a third world war could bring make it unlikely. Another consequence would be the breakdown of diplomatic relations between several Western countries and Russia, a case similar to that experienced during the Cold War.

This scenario would also have its consequences, although not as extreme as the cancellation. In the middle of the Cold War, the countries allied to the Government of the United States allied themselves to boycott the Olympic Games of 1980 that were celebrated in Moscow.

It also happened in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, when, this time, the Soviet Union (and several of its allies) decided not to participate in the event, in response to the boycott of 4 years earlier.

Cunrrently, Russia's international relations are not going through their prime, not only because of the coalition's attack on Syria. Last month, the United Kingdom accused Moscow of planning and executing the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence service colonel who passed classified information to the United Kingdom.

Several countries (among these England) have stated that they will not send a diplomatic delegation to the World Cup as a protest. For now, this has not affected the players, so there would be no boycott of participants. However, it is evident that the relations of the West with the Kremlin do not go through their best moment (added with the supposed influence of Russian intelligence in the presidential elections of the United States).

If the threats and the tension continue to escalate, the main "victims" will be the followers and fans that attend. Above all, the citizens of the NATO member countries, who are always allied with the United States. This would also affect the entire American population of Latino descent or Latino residents who will surely travel to Russia to support Mexico and the other teams of the region.


Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Translated from "¿Está en riesgo el mundial de Rusia por una posible Guerra Mundial?"


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