The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Russia as World Cup 2018 hosts.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2014 Category: Sports
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,584 times Debate No: 52041
Debate Rounds (2)
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Votes (1)




I have played soccer my entire life, and am a passionate supporter of the game on many levels -- from following U.S. soccer teams to the World Cup, soccer"s biggest event. Soccer unites the world together and has the potential to deliver a message of peace and equality across the world -- anyone can play it, anywhere, at anytime. Soccer as a sport has even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize!

So to put soccer"s pinnacle event in a nation like Russia, which is scheduled to host the 2018 World Cup, is a slap in the face to the sport. It"s time to urge FIFA to relocate the 2018 World Cup.

Russia has not been a "team player" when it comes to supporting the human rights of those around the globe and those in their own homeland. They used the banner of the Olympics as a way to stage an invasion of sovereign Ukraine territory, despite widespread international criticism. Now, as Russian troops enter the Crimea, FIFA and World Cup President Sepp Blatter remain silent.

Russia has also instituted anti-gay laws that directly discriminate against human beings, laws that state that imprisonment of up to three years can be given to any individual who "insults the feelings of religious believers" without specifying what that even means, have blatantly abused and underpaid migrant workers, and have killed 21 journalists intentionally for freely reporting the news.

Is this really where the 2018 World Cup should be held? Already, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators have written FIFA urging them to relocate the World Cup from Russia. And soccer player Yaya Toure, the captain of Manchester City and the Ivory Coast, said that as a result of racial abuse he faced recently at a game in Moscow, he would boycott the tournament if things did not change in Russia.

The World Cup is meant to be a celebration not just of the game, but the incredible diversity that exists around the planet. Whether black or white or gay or straight or however you identify, you should not feel threatened to celebrate yourself and this beautiful game that unites the world. But that clearly won"t be the case for millions if Russia is allowed to host the 2018 World Cup.

Please join me in calling on FIFA to relocate the World Cup from Russia in 2018, and to send a message to Russia that there will be consequences for their recent actions.


I have also been had an avid interest in soccer my whole life. As a Brit, I follow Liverpool domestically and on the European stage.

I would suggest that it is perhaps unreasonable for FIFA to relocate the World Cup. You state that "Soccer unites the world together and has the potential to deliver a message of peace and equality across the world." How can football have the opportunity to do this in Russia if the chance is taken away from them before it begins? If the Rugby World Cup had been taken away from South Africa in 1995 then the late Nelson Mandela would not have had the opportunity to unite South Africans nationwide.

Also, as an individual who has played to county level in Ireland, I am acutely aware of the sense of patriotism and self accomplishment that would overcome Russian players when representing your country on home soil. By taking the World Cup away from Russia, you are also taking away the chance of a lifetime for the players who will be dreaming of representing Russia on home soil. The fans will want to see home grown idols playing together, united.

Furthermore, if FIFA were to decide to change the location of the 2018 World Cup, it would have lasting ramifications. The 2014 World Cup scheduled for Brazil has been subject to corruption claims and rioting in Brazil has led to calls for a shift in venue. The most pressing case, however, presents itself in Qatar 2022. Qatar, as a Muslim country, is also anti-gay. Fans going there will be under scrutiny and will "feel threatened" when celebrating "this beautiful game that unites the world." This is without mentioning the 50 degree heat that supporters and players would be subject to if the event is staged in summer! Essentially, if FIFA change one World Cup location, the location of every future world cup will be staunchly contested by at least one country, taking the limelight away from the sport itself.

The sport of Football is a pure entity that should not be blemished by off the field actions. Barcelona were recently found guilty tax evasion, whilst Bayern were guilty of the same offence. Although this tarnished the names of the respective institutions, the reputation of both on a football basis has not been questioned. Russia should be taken in the same mold. Although a tarnished government in western views, Russia as a footballing nation should not be punished. By all means take action against Russia economically and publicly critisise it. Do not, however, attack the institution of football on these political grounds.
Debate Round No. 1


Soccer means a lot to me, and I also play it in North Carolina, USA, at a regional level. I follow the Carolina Railhawks regionally and Real Madrid internationally. I know the sport very well and will not give up a chance to play, but my team sometimes boycotts teams that are known for their bad habits in, a) cheating, b) racism, and c) foul language and bad sportsmanship. Russia displays many of these attributes and is not keeping up with FIFA standards. It is a wondrous thing that we are keeping Russia in the World Cup in the first place, and I will not stand for Russia being the hosts next year.


That is exactly my point. Russia as a country displays many of the bad habits that you have stated. This should not, however, impede on the 144 million people in Russia that are so excited by the prospect of a World Cup in Russia. Sport, as always, should be separated from politics. Ireland is a prime example of why. The sport Gaelic football has very small number of protestants playing it. Why? Because the links between politics, religion and sport are so great. The only way to take steps forward in sport is to isolate it from religion and politics. It should not be used as a tool to punish a political regime.

Also, you failed to address my point about Qatar, which I believe to be of significant importance to this debate. Clearly the changing of one location will create the image of, whether rightly or wrongly, a weak FIFA that can be bullied into changing the rules and cause a landslide of complaints for future World Cup hosts. Previous dealings suggest FIFA will not bend to such pressures as Blatter is very content to follow through with what he thinks is right.

Essentially I think it is criminal to take the World Cup away from 144 million Russians who have as much right to view the spectacle on home soil as any other country. This debate is just because of the tyranny of a few, powerful oligarchs in Russia and economic sanctions should be the first priority, not the changing of venue.
Debate Round No. 2
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: An interesting debate. Rather than argue directly against moving the world cup, which would have played on Con's BoP and, I think, might have made things easier on Pro, Pro decided to argue that the people shouldn't be punished for their government's actions (an argument I found uncompelling in this context) and to use what might be called a tu quoque fallacy--that there are other bad actors doesn't really relate to the resolution at hand. Maybe if you'd used historical examples, Pro, you could have used that to say that if they didn't move it previously, why should they move it now, but by concentrating on other future hosts, your point doesn't really argue against the motion in any meaningful way. As such, arguments to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.