JRL NEWSWATCH: “The real World Cup losers: The Russian people” – Washington Post/Frank A. Guridy, Tinatin Japaridze

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

“… Putin’s bet that the World Cup will produce a win for his government is a big gamble. The global political climate of 2018 is very different than the environment that existed when Russia was awarded the World Cup eight years ago, or even four years ago when Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula after hosting the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, where a massive, government-sponsored doping scandal later tainted the entire Russian Olympic team. The well-known disastrous consequences of the World Cup and the Olympics in Brazil, and the uncovering of FIFA’s bidding scandals, continue to expose the corruption embedded in international soccer.  * * *  … the Russian authorities are wrestling … with foreign policy goals and the[ir] domestic implications …. [There also is an] internal threat posed by a weakening economy and brooding social unrest. … The sporting mega event of today is fool’s gold. … the Putin regime may be successful at its short-term goal as the momentary winner, [but] the long-term negative effects of the World Cup will likely linger, affecting the real losers – the Russian people.”

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