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After all the revelations (mostly facts already widely known) about the corruption of FIFA by Russian, Qatari and South African governments, commentators and football fans are rushing to cancel the ill-conceived (and probably unworkable) 2022 competition in Qatar – an event that would have players (mostly European) running around in nightmarishly hot conditions on slave-built playing fields.

While this is obviously the correct thing to do, I would also argue that given the its behaviour in Eastern Europe, the nation of Russia should also be denied its (corruptly gained) hosting rights in 2018.

I love Russia, both the culture and the people, and once upon a time, I even admired Vladimir Putin. But now I recognise all too keenly that the Kremlin poses a gravely serious threat to the post-war order.

Ukraine, a sovereign and peaceful country, is being mutilated before the eyes of the world. Thousands of its people have perished, including many innocent civilians. And though it continues to deny any involvement, Moscow is clearly directing events on the ground.

Football is a great tradition, an enjoyable sport and a genuine art-form. It is not however of superior importance to peace and international justice.

D, LDN.

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