Why No One is Going to Russia

Elliott Dobberstein, Staff Writer

The World Cup
Football is the most popular sport in the history of the world. Football tournaments have started wars and helped unite nations. The world cup is the most watched event in the history of the world. (“Top 10 List of the World’s Most Popular Sports.”). Every single world cup has drawn new supporters to the game and has broken television records. Billions of dollars worth of revenue can be attributed to every World Cup since 1998. This world cup might be different, however, since Russia is hosting it.

What Russia is Doing in Foreign Countries
Sergei Skripal, a former spy, was found dead on a shopping center bench after being poisoned two months ago in Salisbury, England. His daughter, who was sitting next to him on the park bench, also died. 500 people who were shopping around Sergei and could also be affected by the poison that was used to kill the former spy. Theresa May is accusing the Russian government of plotting the incident. If it is proven that the Russian government is indeed behind this incident, England, Japan, Australia and Poland will press their football teams to withdraw from the world cup. (Igel)

Racism against Africans in Russia
There will be five African countries participating in the world in Russia this year. Despite these three teams being North African, and not Sub-Saharan African, the fans from these countries will still face a great deal of racism. Russians have been known to not be the most welcoming people, and there will likely be fewer African fans going to the World Cup due to the anti-African sentiment. Africans traveling to Russia have reported being called monkeys and being assaulted (Simmons).

Russian hooligans
During the European Cup of 2016, English and Russian fans clashed before and after the match between the two sides. The English fans lost the clash and many of them were injured. It turns out that there are organizations of hooligans in Russia that are trained to beat down other fans. They will be very active during this World Cup. Vladimir Putin and other Russian politicians have not condemned this and did not say that they would ensure the safety of visiting fans during the World Cup. This has led to some concern from people who were planning on traveling to Russia during the World Cup (Boffey).

Works Cited

Boffey, Daniel. “Euro 2016: England and Russia Fans Clash before and after Match.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 12 June 2016,


Simmons, Ann M. “African Migrants in Russia Describe ‘Hell on Earth’.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2014, www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-russia-africans-20141102-story.html.

Igel, Lee. “2018 World Cup Teams Could Boycott Russia Or Go Under Protest.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Mar. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/leeigel/2018/03/15/2018-world-cup-teams-should-stay-home-from-russia-or-go-under-protest/#42babc5c74e2.

“Top 10 List of the World’s Most Popular Sports.” Sport in Honduras, www.topendsports.com/world/lists/popular-sport/fans.htm.