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US senator urges FIFA to reconsider decision to host 2018 World Cup in Russia

April 20, 2017, 6:58 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 to July 15, 2018 at 12 stadiums in 11 host cities in Russia

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WASHINGTON, April 20. /TASS/. US Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal has urged FIFA to reconsider the decision to host the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

In his letter addressed to FIFA President Gianni Infantino the Senator said that other countries that bid to host the event and the US Soccer Federation could help FIFA find an alternative to Russia.

"FIFA must stand up for the values of soccer players and fans around the glove by rejecting Russia as a host country," the senator said.

"I recognize the courage and leadership this action requires you. I believe that the other nations that bid to host the 2018 World Cup and the Unites States Soccer Federation would assist in the location of a suitable alternative venue," he said.

According to Blumenthal, the steps taken by the Russian government are "completely inconsistent with the humanitarian values of FIFA."

First of all the senator slams Russia for the support it granted to the Syrian government.

"Russia is a close ally of the Assad regime, intervening military on its side in the civil war and stationing troops there in support of Assad," he said.

Earlier, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, commenting on the intention of the senator not to let Russia host the World Cup, said that such initiatives have no relation to sports.

"That’s self-defeating. It's clear that attacks on Russia, which are connected with politics, will continue. It's clear that this has nothing to do with sports," he said.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 to July 15, 2018 at 12 stadiums in 11 host cities in Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Sochi, Kaliningrad, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd and Samara.

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