12 March 201821:31

The Foreign Ministry knew: Another round of campaign to discredit 2018 FIFA World Cup

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We have repeatedly warned that before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the Western media will launch a large-scale campaign to discredit Russia and to undermine trust in the country as a host of this sports event. Thus, it was said during the weekly briefings on May 25, 2017 and January 12, 2018.

As we expected, the English are especially active. They cannot forgive Russia for winning the right to host the tournament in a fair contest. British media are urging people to boycott the World Cup. Not only journalists suggest doing so, but also officials such as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson and Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the House of Commons. The pretext was the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, the investigation of which has not yet come to a close, and in fact, has not yet really begun. However, this did not stop British politicians from coming to conclusions about Russia’s involvement in the case. So a boycott of the World Cup would punish the country. At the same time, it seems they have not decided yet on who was supposed to boycott the event: the Royal family and officials or the English national team itself. We want to emphasise once again that such provocative false stories, which stir up anti-Russian hysteria, only complicate the relationship between our countries and harm global sports.

A similar order is being implemented in Germany. Its largest tabloid, Bild, decided to “ask” their national team whether they want to go to Russia. The poll was accompanied with a photo of a girl who was allegedly wounded during the airstrike of the Russian Aerospace Forces in eastern Ghouta on March 8. Unfortunately, Bild again uses young victims in their speculations and forgets about argumentation and any proof. It is not for the first time that Bild uses large sports events to discredit Russia: back in 2014 the newspaper was one of the main sources of scandalous gossip about the preparations and hosting of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Bild Editor-in-Chief Julian Reichelt developed his propaganda narrative in the British Daily Mail and likened the 2018 World Cup to the “notorious” 1936 Olympics which took place in Berlin. Well, your guides are outdated. Propagandists compared the Sochi Olympics with the Berlin Olympics, too.

To the credit of the participants in the poll – footballers, sponsors of the national team and officials did not take the bait.

We would like to again say that sports in general and football in particular are aimed at uniting people of various religions and nationalities and at giving positive emotions and joy. And the attempts to politicise it and involve athletes as well as coaches in it simply shows the professional incompetence of journalists who chase sensations and page views.





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