WASHINGTON – Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the longest-serving Democratic and Republican women in the House of Representatives, on June 6 introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning Russian transgressions against international law and FIFA values during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This includes Russia’s history of violent and illegal action, like the invasion of Ukraine, as well as its well-documented human rights violations and the jailing of activists and journalists.
“As the world turns its eyes toward the World Cup in Russia, with billions of viewers across the world, our resolution makes it clear that Congress has not forgotten Russia’s continued campaign of disinformation and electoral meddling, human rights abuses and violence across the world,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “We must stand united against forces of tyranny, not undermine global sanctions against Russia by providing them with a windfall of tourism, likely to only benefit Putin’s rich oligarch friends.”
“I’m proud to join my friend and colleague, Marcy Kaptur, in introducing this resolution at a time the world will be focused on Russia,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “We need to ensure we hold the Putin regime accountable and urge FIFA to reform its guidelines so dictators are no longer rewarded with prestigious events to give their kleptocracies a patina of legitimacy.”
The members were joined in support for the resolution by Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).
“When it comes to our shared experiences through the world’s most popular sport, we can do better than to reward Russia’s dangerous and reckless behavior with the honor of hosting the World Cup. The spirit of the game of soccer deserves better,” said Congressman Engel. “This bipartisan resolution makes it clear that Russia’s violent and aggressive actions will not be forgotten or glossed over. The international community must stand up against Putin and his cronies.”
The resolution goes on to urge the international community to continue to hold Russia to account, and not reward its malign behavior with the benefits of hosting the World Cup, and hold FIFA to a higher standard in future bidding processes to ensure fairness and transparency.
There are 14 original co-sponsors supporting the resolution: Reps. Red Poe (R-Texas), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Paul Cook (R-Calif.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.,), Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas).