Observer writers and Russia experts travel behind the twisting to analyse the host societies social and political landscape
Part 1. Racism
‘Young love determine the domination of far-right chorus. Anyone who challenges it faces a threat of violence’
It is the most politically charged World Cup in recent memory: Russia, resurgent under Vladimir Putin, is set to host the 32 -team tournament next month amid scandals straying from sports drugging to snoop poisonings. Relations between Moscow and London are at their coolest since the cold war and the recent events in Salisbury even led to brief speculation( aided by Boris Johnson) that England could skip the tournament, recollecting the Olympics boycotts of the 1980 s.
While individual parallels such as the United Nation and Iran’s face-off in 1998 were political lightning rods in their hour, the host country has not faced such hot analysi perhaps since the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, supported just two years after a right-wing military takeover backed by the United States.
Last week Human Rights Watch liberated a 44 -page guide detailing repression and discrimination in Russia, targeted at the thousands of writers expected to arrive in the country for the tournament.
” Fifa still has time to show that it is ready to use its leveraging with the Russian government to fulfil its own human rights policies ,” Hugh Williamson of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
Russia’s aspirations have changed since it was awarded the World Cup back in 2010. Then, it still sounded set on wooing the world community by impounding prominence tournaments. Dmitry Medvedev was president and the reset in relations initiated by President Obama was still on track, with the aim of repairing relations after the crusade in Georgia. But even then, long before Salisbury, the crusade in Ukraine, rules against” homosexual publicity” and hooligan violence in Marseilles, racist incidents in Russian football were a clear concern.