A terminology of disdain used in the past to describe the malignment or Russian hindrance or perpetration of ills. In the current political warfare, the events of Salisbury 2018 portray a whole different light on inter-continental relationships. Far be it from Ed. to claim to be ‘in the know’ with what’s going on, but an enlightened commentator could list doping, hooliganism, e-crime and alleged rigging of votes as some evidence to suggest not all is at is seems with the former USSR.
Earlier in S’PORT we have described the suggested State approved troubles in he Euros 2016, witnessed first hand by yours truly. This short ramble is one of debating ‘stay or go’ to the Finals. The frequently referred political football that is association football or indeed sports as a whole raises its head again. This time in discussing whether the National Team, that is England should frequent the World Cup.
With or without us it will still run and with possible slight knocks to marketing collateral or discretionary spend by those brave Brits that seek to face those Russian challenges (the Independent said: “Western governments warn of a range of hazards awaiting the unwitting football fan”) – the impact on the Country, in contrast to sanctions, will be minimal.
It seems that the England and FA hierarchy may leave decisions on opting in or opting out with the players. The main losers it seems to me will be the supporters deprived of watching their Home team in what should be an Event which is often the pinnacle of the beautiful game.
Forecasts suggest that “FIFA set to make $5 billion World Cup sales target despite Italy, US absences”. But sponsorship sales have stumbled. FIFA’s cash-cow of the World Cup Final is being hit harder than most. The catalyst though hardly just Rusky in origin, but a result of the tarnished image of the Governing Body.
So should I stay or should I go now? The latest advice from FCO states: “due to heightened political tensions between the UK and Russia, you should be aware of the possibility of anti-British sentiment or harassment at this time; you’re advised to remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations and avoid commenting publically on political developments.” So County fans, you need to be somewhat anonymous and certainly don’t sing Arthur Brownlow too fiercely – though no doubt his ‘pork pie hat’ could be photo-shopped to blend in (note from Ed. topical issue!).
The poll by media giants, Sky, has asked on whether attendance is prudent. Some surveys suggest a third of us say boycott. Are these all football fans, I suspect not. I’d favour going and whipping the World’s best in the Russian back yard. Though realistically, will this happen. I’ve had too many false dawns!
Apparently, “Stephen Kinnock MP has suggested in parliament that Theresa May should ask FIFA to postpone the World Cup until next year”. Really, as if that’s going to happen! We know we are not that great Nation, we were once were, in the footballing World or World at all. Brexit doesn’t help matters (sorry, I shouldn’t climb back on my soap box!). But we are all entitled to opinions – and I think as a spectacle and motivation, hopefully with longevity into the latter stages of World Cup 2018, England should show up. There are two thirds that support this from that earlier Survey of 2,000. That’s my view, admittedly from a long distance away in more ways than one.
But my major concerns are the safety and well-being of our supporters and Team entering hostile territory. Stay safe boys and girls! What do you think?