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Should we pull the plug on Russia's World Cup?

July 27, 2014 12:01 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Today Nick Clegg raised the question on whether Russia should host the World Cup in 2018, considering the events taking place in Ukraine.

Speaking in an interview for the Sunday Times, Nick Clegg said: "If Russia doesn't change tack on Ukraine, I'm not sure why the World Cup in Russia should go ahead in a rogue state".

After being asked about his thoughts on Putin and Russia, Nick said that Putin is picking a fight with the rest of the world, which will do considerable damage to Russia in the long run.


Speaking further about Putin and the World Cup being held in Russia, Nick said:

"He can't constantly, you know, push the patience of the international community beyond breaking point, destabilise a neighbouring country, protect these armed separatists in the east of Ukraine and still have the privilege and honour of receiving all the accolades in 2018 for being the host nation of the World Cup.

"I think it would make the rest of the world look so weak and so insincere about our protestations about Vladimir Putin's behaviour if we're not prepared to pull the plug on the World Cup taking place in Russia in 2018 after everything that has been said in recent months about his behaviour. Now, look, hopefully, best outcome of all is he changes course."

For there to be stability in Europe, Nick said that it is essential for the EU to take tougher sanctions on Putin, he added:

"The one lesson we've learned from European history is that the sooner and the tougher that you act, the more heartache and conflict you can avoid in the longer term."