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Putin Did Not Threaten to Prevent 2022 World Cup

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
4th March 2022
Putin Did Not Threaten to Prevent 2022 World Cup
The statement attributed to Putin is made up (Getty).

The Claim

Following the suspension of Russia’s FIFA membership, president Vladimir Putin says there will be no World Cup. 

Emerging story

Social media users have recently shared an alleged statement attributed to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the statement, Putin is said to have responded to the news of Russia’s suspension from the Qatar-hosted 2022 World Cup competition, saying that there will be no World Cup in the first place.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s team investigated the circulated claim and found it fake. The statement attributed to Putin is made up and baseless. Russian President Vladimir Putin did not make any statements in this regard. No related statements or news were found to have been issued by the Kremlin either.

The claim started to circulate following the FIFA announcement on Feb. 28 that it had suspended Russia’s membership in the 2022 World Cup to be hosted in Qatar near the end of this year.

The FIFA and UEFA have released a joint statement stressing that all Russian teams and clubs have been indefinitely suspended from all competitions organized by the two bodies.

Russia’s national team was scheduled to play in the European qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup, but the Polish team refused to face the Russian team, and so did the Swedish team.

A supporting image within the article body

The Russian Football Federation has categorically rejected the decision by UEFA and FIFA, stating that it ran contrary to the “spirit of sports.”

The statement added: “It has an obvious discriminatory character and harms a huge number of athletes, coaches, employees of clubs and national teams, and most importantly, millions of Russian and foreign fans, whose interests international sports organizations must protect in the first place.”

Later, the Russian Football Federation said it would appeal the “suspensions imposed by governing bodies FIFA and UEFA.”

In another statement published on Feb. 27, FIFA condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expressed its solidarity with those affected, calling for a swift and urgent restoration of peace.

FIFA also announced other decisions:

  1. “No international competition shall be played on the territory of Russia, with ‘home’ matches being played on neutral territory and without spectators.”
  2. “The member association representing Russia shall participate in any competition under the name ‘Football Union of Russia (RFU)’ and not ‘Russia’.”
  3. “No flag or anthem of Russia will be used in matches where teams from the Football Union of Russia participate.”

The claim started to circulate against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, amid reports of increasingly intense Russian airstrikes against several Ukrainian cities, in addition to unconfirmed reports that the Russian military had captured Kherson, a city south of Ukraine.


Translated by Ahmed N. A. Almassri

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