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For a true fan of soccer, it’s hard to understand: I don’t watch the World Championship Soccer in Russia. I have my reasons not to watch. These reasons are more important.

Juli 14, 2014. Four years ago. Somewhere over Eastern Ukraine. A Boeing 777 is on route to Kuala Lumpur. This airplane- flight MH17 –  of Malaysia Airlines travels from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and will never reach its destination. Somewhere near the village Hrabove, this airplane is shot down by a missile. 298 people die because of this. On the ground, pro-Russian separatists are fighting the Ukranian army.

Four years after this tragedy, there is still a denial of the hosting country of this World Championship. Russia denies involvement. This has been done since the world learned about the end of flight MH17. Despite the evidence that points to the pro-Russian separatists, possibly with the help of Moscow.

This is a reason not to watch soccer on television.

October 7, 2006. In an elevator of an apartment building in Moscow, a body of a woman is found. She is shot. The gun and the bullets are left on the ground next to her body. This association ended the life of journalist, publicist, and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaja. Just months before she was shot, she turned 48. She gained fame with her book Putin’s Russia. Five years later, someone confessed to having shot her. Still, everything points to the involvement of the Russian secret service FSB and even the Kremlin.

This as a reason not to watch soccer on television.

November 1, 2006. Aleksandr Litvinenko – then a British citizen – was admitted to a hospital. He was poisoned with polonium-210. 22 days later, he died because of this poisoning. He was investigating the death of Politkovskaya. The Russian secret service and even the Kremlin are believed to be involved. Just like the poisoning of Sergej Skripal and his daughter Joelia.

This as a reason not to watch soccer on television.

103,000. That is the amount that was published in 2016 by the Dutch aids fund (aidsfonds). This is the number of HIV infections during one year. New infections to be precise. On daily basis, it’s believed that 80 people die because of the disease Aids. These are estimates. The Kremlin denies all these numbers, claiming nothing is going on.

This as a reason not to watch soccer on television.

1917 and 1933. These years have one thing in common. These are years that homosexuality was punishable by law. Years later, in 2013, the government in Moscow decided to present a new law. It was illegal from that year to talk about homosexuality in the presence of children. The rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGTB community is now an illegal symbol.

This as a reason not to watch soccer on television.

Amnesty International presented the bravest World Cup, Team. There is a chance that you never heard of the names in this team. Learn more about this “team” on this page. On daily basis, the activist fights tough battles in Russia. Just to make themselves heard. To change things. They are made into criminals. Their voices cannot be heard.

This as a reason not to watch soccer on television.

2017. After two years of trying to prevent the papers about corruption within the FIFA from being published, they were finally published. These papers showed that the tournaments in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) were the results of corruption. Unfortunately, these aren’t the only tournaments that are the result of corruption.

This as a reason not to watch soccer on television.

People talk about cycling when it comes to doping. The illegal usage of medicine and other substances to enhance the performance. The same can be said for the Olympic Games. Yet, it all doesn’t seem to apply for this World Championship. In a country where there is a government funded program meant to cheat, this championship is held. There was no reason for the FIFA to cancel this tournament.

This as a reason not to watch soccer on television.

I know, the country I live in – The Netherlands – isn’t present at this event. This blog isn’t written because of the absence of the Orange Lions (now mild cats by the way). This is because I think that this tournament should not take place in this country under these circumstances.

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