January 01, 2011

Russia Plays Ball

It was an unusually frosty November evening in Moscow when FIFA president Sepp Blatter turned the envelope to face the audience and pulled out the piece of paper with the word “Russia” printed on it.

The international campaign for the right to host the World Cup in 2018 had by then gotten quite nasty, culminating in Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s unusual decision to circulate a statement through a PR agency on why he would not be going to the announcement ceremony in Zurich.

“I see it as an unfair competition before the vote to choose future hosts of the FIFA World Cup.”

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