Last week American senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Dan Coates of Indiana co-wrote a letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, asking the ruling organization to ban Russia from the upcoming Rio World Cup. The senators also asked Russia to be banned from the 2018 World Cup—which the country is actually hosting—on the basis that Russia just invaded a sovereign country, and it isn’t fit to compete on an international stage.
There is precedent for the letter: Yugoslavia was excluded from the 1994 World Cup after it conducted a genocidal series of wars.
“Since Russia has similarly displayed a brazen disrespect for fundamental principles of Fifa and international law, [we] hope you will agree that it doesn’t deserve the honor of either hosting the World Cup or participating in one,” the senators said.
Russia responded today with the storied “I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I” negotiation tactic; Russian politicians Alexander Sidyakin and Michael Markelov demanded that the United States be suspended from the World Cup for defaming the name of Mother Russia. According to the Guardian, the letter reads:
“Dear Mr. Blatter,
…We respectfully ask that you urgently convene an emergency session of FIFA to consider suspending US’s membership in FIFA and denying the United States Team the right to participate in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
According to Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes: “discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”
Blatter is so hilariously corrupt he’d probably honor either request if Russia or the U.S. were to slip him a few hundred dollars and a jet-setting hooker. But really, nothing will come from this. Let’s leave the ball-busting on the pitch, fellas.