Ukraine’s attempts to boycott 2018 World Cup will fail, says Russia

Russian Football Union’s former president, Vyacheslav Koloskov, has spoken out against Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s call to boycott FIFAs biggest annual event, saying that their efforts will be in vain.

The Ukrainian leader wrote on Twitter earlier this week: “While ever there are Russian forces in Ukraine, I believe that holding the World Cup in that country is not possible.”

Poroshenko is currently visiting Germany amidst talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, asking for tougher sanctions on Russia in response to pro-Russia separatists occupying the Ukraine.

Koloskov replied to Poroshenko’s call on his allies to shun the cup with claims that the efforts will go in the same direction as the attempts to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics. The games, which were hosted in Russian city Sochi, attracted controversy over Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws.

Speaking to international publication Reuters, the former FIFA Vice President said: “In terms of a boycott, unfortunately Poroshenko is not the first person to talk about this… there were also attempts to boycott the Winter Olympics. No one was able to do anything then and I think exactly the same will happen with regards to the World Cup.

“[FIFA president] Sepp Blatter often says that politics is politics and football is football.”

Despite the lack of support, the first call for volunteers has been issued today by the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee on FIFA.com. This marks the beginning of the proceedings that will lead up to the World Cup, which is scheduled to begin on 14 June 2018.

The Preliminary Draw will be the first event in the countdown and only need a total of 300 volunteers. Although the application is open to all English speakers over 18, priority will be given to those who live in St. Petersburg.

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