Russian official dismisses 2018 boycott suggestion

Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:01pm EDT
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will stage the 2018 soccer World Cup and will host it well, the Russian Football Union's honorary president told Reuters on Monday, dismissing calls by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for his country's allies to boycott the event.

Meanwhile, soccer's world governing body FIFA said it believed the 2018 tournament in Russia would be a "force for good".

Vyacheslav Koloskov, a former FIFA vice-president, said attempts to disrupt the tournament would fail, just as they had with last year's Sochi Winter Olympics after some observers objected to Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws.

"In terms of a boycott, unfortunately Poroshenko is not the first person to talk about this," Koloskov told Reuters by telephone.

"There were also attempts to boycott the Winter Olympics. No one was able to do anything then and I think exactly the same will happen with regards to the World Cup.

"Sepp Blatter often says that politics is politics and football is football. Of course he will not allow a boycott to happen. In Ukraine they don't know anymore what they are trying to achieve. First one thing, then another, then a third thing...

"We will host the 2018 World Cup and we will host it well."

"I would not want to compare things with the 1980 Olympics when a number of countries boycotted it due to political motives," he added.   Continued...

Journalists look at a light installation showing the official logotype of the 2018 FIFA World Cup during its unveiling ceremony at the Bolshoi Theater building in Moscow, October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov