In response to calls from critics to strip Russia of the 2018 World Cup for its ongoing disastrous human rights record, FIFA has come out firmly on Russia's side.
"History has shown so far," the organization said in a statement," that boycotting sport events or a policy of isolation or confrontation are not the most effective ways to solve problems."
"FIFA is convinced that, through football, particularly the FIFA World Cup and its international spotlight, we can achieve positive change in the world, but football cannot be seen as a solution for all issues, particularly those related to world politics. We have seen that the FIFA World Cup can be a force for good and FIFA believes this will be the case for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia."
In possibly semi-related news, the above photo, from 2013, shows FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, as Vladimir Putin looked on, celebrating a deal that made the Russian state-owned natural gas company the highest-level corporate sponsor of FIFA.