"As you may know, Russia will host the 2018 World Cup this June 14 to July 15, 2018. The games have an expected global viewership of 3.2 billion granting Russia significant prestige on the world stage. Meanwhile, FIFA set aside $627 million for local organization in the country and the windfall Russia will garner from global tourism will lead to a significant boost for their economy currently saddled with global sanctions," the congresswomen said in a statement, Censor.NET reports.
"Tragically, this status trivializes Russia’s aggressive, expansionist foreign policy. Russia seeks to weaken democratic institutions globally through disinformation, election meddling, and other measures. It illegally invaded and has occupied Ukrainian territories of Crimea and the Donbas since 2014, resulting in the death of over 10,000 people and the displacement of 1.6 million to date. Russia works to sow discord among America’s closest allies in NATO and the European Union. In the Middle East, their support of the Assad regime in Syria has led to the death of thousands and further displacement of millions.
"A dark cloud hangs over these games as allegations have been raised into corruption associated with the FIFA and the selection of Russia for the World Cup. Just this past winter, Russia was expelled from the South Korean Olympics due to unprecedented levels of state-backed doping.
"Russia’s actions not only fly in the face of international norms, but they also go against FIFA’s statutes, which state that "discrimination of any kind against a country… is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion." It is clear that the International Community must continue to hold Russia to account, and should not reward its malign behavior with the right to host the World Cup. We must hold FIFA to a higher standard in future bidding processes to ensure fairness and transparency," the statement reads.
Washington-based Ukraine's Embassy later confirmed that this bipartisan resolution condemns Russia’s continued destabilizing behavior in Ukraine and the region; calls on the Fe´de´ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and its associated 6 international community to continue investigations into illicit Russian efforts to secure the World Cup; and provide a public, detailed explanation of why FIFA continues to plan to hold the World Cup in Russia given its continued status as an internationally sanctioned country due to its ongoing aggression against Ukraine, including its illegal occupation of Crimea.