Sending Office: Honorable Marcy Kaptur
Sent By:
Nicholas.Kazvini-Gore@mail.house.gov

Become an Original Cosponsor of a bipartisan H.Res., condemning Russian transgressions against International Law and FIFA’s values during the 2018 World Cup

Deadline: Wednesday at noon

Current cosponsors: Reps. Kaptur, Ros-Lehtinen, Poe, Perry, Sires, DingellConnolly, Burgess

Dear Colleague:

As you may know, Russia will host the 2018 World Cup this June 14 to July 15, 2018. The games have an expected global viewership of 3.2 billion granting Russia significant prestige on the world stage. Meanwhile, FIFA set aside $627 million for local organization
in the country and the windfall Russia will garner from global tourism will lead to a significant boost for their economy currently saddled with global sanctions. 

Tragically, this status trivializes Russia’s aggressive, expansionist foreign policy. Russia seeks to weaken democratic institutions globally through disinformation, election meddling, and other measures. It illegally invaded and has occupied Ukrainian territories
of Crimea and the Donbas since 2014, resulting in the death of over 10,000 people and the displacement of 1.6 million to date. Russia works to sow discord among America’s closest allies in NATO and the European Union. In the Middle East, their support of the
Assad regime in Syria has led to the death of thousands and further displacement of millions. 

A dark cloud hangs over these games as allegations have been raised into corruption associated with the FIFA and the selection of Russia for the World Cup. Just this past winter, Russia was expelled from the South Korean Olympics due to unprecedented levels
of state-backed doping.

Russia’s actions not only fly in the face of international norms, but they also go against FIFA’s statutes, which state that “discrimination of any kind against a country… is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.” It is clear that
the International Community must continue to hold Russia to account, and should not reward its malign behavior with the right to host the World Cup. We must hold FIFA to a higher standard in future bidding processes to ensure fairness and transparency.

Please join us in cosponsoring this bipartisan resolution, which would call out Russia’s malign behavior, and call on FIFA to publicly justify holding the World Cup in a country internationally sanctioned for its military aggression.

To cosponsor or if you have any questions, please reach out to us or Nick Kazvini-Gore at
Nicholas.Kazvini-Gore@mail.house.gov and 5-4146 with Rep. Kaptur or Antonella Davalos at
Antonella.Davalos@mail.house.gov and 5-3931with Rep. Ros-Lehtinen.

Sincerely,

MARCY KAPTUR                                        ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN

Member of Congress                                      Member of Congress

 

Resolution Text:

RESOLUTION: Condemning Russian transgressions against international law and FIFA values during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Whereas the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)’s mission statement reads, ‘‘the world is a place rich in natural beauty and cultural diversity, but also one where many are still deprived of their basic rights. FIFA now has an even greater
responsibility to reach out and touch the world, using football as a symbol of hope and integration’’;

Whereas Article 3 of FIFA’s statutes states, ‘‘FIFA is committed to respecting all internationally recognized human rights and shall strive to promote the protection of these rights’’;

Whereas Article 4 of FIFA’s statutes states, ‘‘discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, disability, language, religion, political opinion .
. . is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion’’;

Whereas FIFA awarded the Russian Federation hosting rights of the 2018 World Cup on December 2, 2010;

Whereas the Russian government consistently intimidates and jails protestors and civil society in contravention of the Helsinki Charter;

Whereas Russia increasingly seeks to dominate its neighbors, such as Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and undermine the rules-based international order through military action;

Whereas Russia has a deeply troubling human rights record, and has targeted human rights defenders including those active in protecting the environment, participating in democratic movements, calling out corruption, and others seeking to practice their rights;

Whereas human rights activists have documented labor abuses at construction sites related to the 2018 World Cup, including withholding or long delays in payment of wages, flawed or missing labor contracts necessary for legal employment, dangerous working
conditions, and an environment of intimidation;

Whereas Russia’s actions violate international norms, FIFA’s values, and the spirit of the game of soccer;

Whereas FIFA invests upwards $627 million allocated for ‘‘local organization’’, and the windfall from millions of tourists to Russia will boost the Russian economy, potentially freeing up money for further military aggression;

Whereas the World Cup has a viewership of 3.2 billion people and would provide Russia one of the largest international platforms to spread its disinformation;

Whereas the World Cup raises Russia’s prestige on the world stage, despite its malign and revanchist behavior, human rights abuses, and expansionist objectives;

Whereas a dark cloud hangs over the selection of Russia as World Cup host, as allegations of bribery and corruption have been leveled against the Russian bid committee, including investigations in the United States, Switzerland, and France;

Whereas Russia was expelled from the 2018 Olympics, due to unprecedented levels of doping and cheating;

Whereas Russia uses its networks of patronage and corruption to undermine democratic institutions and alliances that are critical to the rules-based order;

Whereas Russian aggression and the continued illegal occupation of Ukraine has caused more than 10,000 deaths, displaced 1.6 million Ukrainians, and marginalized the native Tatar population of Crimea;

Whereas FIFA has a history of sanctioning a country for destabilizing behavior, such as banning the former Yugoslavia from the 1994 World Cup and the 1992 European Championship; and

Whereas the United States and the international community must continue to hold Russia to account, punish Russian contravention of international law, and take action to deter future destabilizing actions:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

  1. condemns Russia’s continued destabilizing behavior in Ukraine and the region; and
  2. calls on the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and its associated international community to—
    1. continue investigations into illicit Russian efforts to secure the World Cup;
    2. condemn Russia’s transgressions against international law and FIFA values;
    3. publically detail the FIFA processes and procedures to ensure that all World Cup athletes, particularly including those of the Russian Federation, are not using illegal performance-enhancing drugs;
    4. provide a public, detailed explanation of why FIFA continues to plan to hold the World Cup in Russia given its continued status as an internationally sanctioned country due to its ongoing illegal occupation of Ukraine;
    5. adopt a rule that bans any internationally sanctioned nation from hosting the World Cup in the future;

ensure that future bidding processes occur in a fully transparent manner and in line with international and FIFA values; and reaffirm its commitment to the FIFA charter, particularly including Article 3 and Article 4.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Armed Services, Ethics and Standards, Foreign Affairs

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