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FIFA chief Blatter says calls for boycotting sports events unsubstantiated

October 28, 2014, 13:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Calls for the boycotts would never yield a positive effect, Sepp Blatter, the president of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), says
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Sepp Blatter, the president of the International Federation of Football Associations

Sepp Blatter, the president of the International Federation of Football Associations

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. Calls for boycotting major sports events will never have a positive effect as it happened during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi, Sepp Blatter, the president of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), said.

According to Blatter, who is currently on a visit to Moscow, protests in Brazil ahead of the 2014 World Cup were initially organized in social networks and then media caught up publishing negative articles concerning the construction of the stadiums and social situation in the country.

However, Brazil is the country of football and everything quieted down as soon as the championship kicked off, Blatter said, adding that a similar situation happened during this year’s Winter Olympic Games in Russia’s southern city of Sochi.

The 78-year-old FIFA president said he hoped that Russian media would be capable of presenting the 2018 world championship in the right way, of showing the real value of the tournament and overshadowing all negative sentiments as calls for the boycotts would never yield a positive effect.

Some of the Western politicians earlier voiced calls to strip Russia of the right to host the World Cup in 2018 as a form of penalty regarding Moscow’s stance on the developments in neighboring Ukraine.

In particular, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said in a July interview with the Sunday Times that it was “unthinkable” for the global football contest to take place in Russia, and stripping the country of the event would be a "very potent political and symbolic sanction."

World football’s governing body, however, spoke against the possibility of relocating the 2018 World Cup insisting that the tournament in Russia could be “a force for good.”

Blatter is currently in Moscow to take part in a session of the Local Organizing Committee, which will be also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and to take part in the ceremony of unveiling Russia’s official emblem for the 2018 World Cup.

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