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FIFA rejects calls to strip Russia of World Cup

FIFA rejects calls to strip Russia of World Cup

FIFA:The governing body also says "boycotting sport events or a policy of isolation or confrontation" doesn't work. Photo: Associated Press

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has rejected calls to move the 2018 World Cup from Russia, saying the tournament “can achieve positive change.”

Russia’s alleged involvement in shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last week prompted calls from some lawmakers in Germany to review the country’s hosting rights.

FIFA says it supports “any peaceful and democratic debate” and “deplores any form of violence.”

The governing body also says “boycotting sport events or a policy of isolation or confrontation” doesn’t work.

FIFA, which has Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko on its executive committee, says a World Cup in the country “can be a force for good.”

FIFA President Sepp Blatter already rejected calls in March to strip Russia of the tournament after it annexed the Crimea.

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