As the curtain is drawn to mark the commencement of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, Participating teams (countries) are set to unleash the dragon on each other as there will be a massive display of wit and strength for the next five weeks of unadulterated football. Indeed, the football world is alive and enthusiastic to be part of the fun, actions and excitements that comes with the world cup.

But, one interesting antidote that may undermine this excitement is the high level diplomatic row and strained international relations between Russia and the US as well as the UK.

In fact, following the call for submission of bid for world cup hosting right of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup respectively in 2010; whilst England submitted an excellent bid to host the 2018 World Cup, the US equally submitted a spectacular bid to host the 2022 World Cup, but these two super power nations missed out in winning the bid to host these respective world cup events through  votes decided by  FIFA executive committee members who voted to determine the host countries for these two World Cup.

Of Course, Russia eventually emerged host of the 2018 World Cup, while Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 world cup. However,  following their failed bid to host the 2018 and 2022 world cup, the British and US  media were out to slug it out with FIFA big wigs whom they believed,  were greatly influenced, and conspired to vote against the British and American  bids.

Well, the moment of vendetta came in 2015 when the American and British media spear headed the campaign of Calumny and character assassination against Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA president when he was seeking for re-election for 6th Term. Though, he later rescinded his decision to seek for re-election, but, ammunitions supplied by the British and American media to dent Blatter’s image, and his anointed protégé, Michel Platini eventually dealt a huge blow and put paid to the illustrious football administration career of Sepp Blatter, and, the amiable former UEFA President, Michel Platini.

More so, it could be further stated that this feud transcended to the Macro level political sphere, as events off the board room of FIFA, metamorphosed into strained diplomatic relations between US, Russia and UK. The USA is a close political ally of the UK-with both nations having cordial bilateral relations over the years.

Interestingly, Russia is known for its massive wealth in Oil and Gas, well endowed industrial base, strong army, vibrant intelligence agencies and advancement in nuclear warfare. The level of force and intimidation used by Russian government to settle political scores with its neighbor, Ukraine was something that was brought to the front burner by the British and American government. Despite diplomatic plea and overtures by the British and American governments on Russia to stop the act of military intimidation on Ukraine which fell on deaf ears, the Vladimir Putin – led Russian government wasn’t flowing in the same wave length with his contemporaries and so a diplomatic row ensured.

However, though, the US did not qualify for this summer’s World Cup, while on the other hand, England, its long time ally did. But, one worrying issue is the advice of the later on its citizens not to travel to Russia to watch this summer’s world cup finals. The decision of the royal family to stay away from going to Russia to watch the world cup is also appalling and unfortunate.

More so, since the advent of the 20th and 21st centuries, no world cup event has generated so much heat and tension like the Russia 2018 World Cup may be perhaps due to the super power egos of this global power blogs who has one scores or the other to settle with one another.

Consequently, football has become a veritable unifying tool amongst warring nations and in similar fashion, political leaders have therefore considered football as a platform to repair their chequered or damaged political spectrum, and, that inform the intensive lobbying and campaign that usually characterize the bidding process to host a World Cup.

To some political leaders, the World Cup could also be used as a medium to upgrade a dilapidated infrastructure, and give its economy a massive boost. Whilst for some, hosting the World Cup is an avenue to show case it’s rich cultural value and heritage to the world,
A host nation of a world cup could experience an upturn of massive industrial revolution and promotion of tourism potentials after the World Cup.

To some political leaders, the World Cup could also be used as a medium to upgrade a dilapidated infrastructure, and give its economy a massive boost. Whilst for some, hosting the World Cup is an avenue to show case it’s rich cultural value and heritage to the world.

A host nation of a world cup could experience an upturn of massive industrial revolution and promotion of tourism potentials after the World Cup.
The inherent benefits that are derivable by host nations are endless. The fun, excitement and interracial affinity that go with it are alarming! And so therefore, football and by extension the World Cup, should be separated from global politics. There should be absolute political and religious tolerance amongst World Leaders, and try to diffuse merging political tension and football excitement to avoid a cataclysmic effect.

While I personally recognize the global importance and relevance of Russia to world economy, peace and security, the UK and US government should rally round Russia and give them a helping hand and support to be a hospitable host to guest and prospective fans of over 30 million people. The world is a global village, let all and sundry bury their hatchet, embrace peace and look forward to a month long of fun and excitement. It is not time for any country to raise its political ego in a bid to settle scores; it is time to play football.

Let the game begin and let’s have fun with love, peace and unity.