Global Pressure Mounts to Revoke Russia’s Hosting of FIFA’s 2018 World Cup

A global campaign calling for consumers to boycott sponsors of FIFA’s World Cup has now expanded to include Visa (NYSE:V), Kia Motors (OTN: KIMTF) and Sony (NYSE:SNE). United with Ukraine, the organization spearheading the campaign, was formed to mobilize global grassroots opposition to Vladimir Putin and Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and its orchestrating of violent terrorist activities across Eastern and Southern Ukraine. The 2018 World Cup was awarded to Russia by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the international governing body of the sport of football.

“We have Presidents and Prime Ministers of Western nations looking for additional economic sanctions to further punish and isolate Russia. And, we have this opportunity standing right in front of us to have FIFA strip Russia of its 2018 World Cup hosting rights which is estimated to be worth $20 billion to that country. I can think of more than 100 countries that would be far more deserving of that $20 billion than Russia,” said Eugene Melnyk, Chairman of the Campaign Advisory Committee for United with Ukraine. “Russia has illegally invaded a sovereign nation, broken international laws and is orchestrating daily terrorist activities within Ukraine. I do not believe Anheuser Busch InBev, Visa, Kia and Sony are companies that want to align or associate their brands with Vladimir Putin and Russia. These global companies and their once loyal customers have an important principled choice to make.”

The international campaign launched last month, initially targeting Anheuser Busch InBev. The campaign has a comprehensive website which includes informative online videos to help highlight the hypocrisy of FIFA and its major corporate sponsors. The videos are available on the website in 12 different languages to help facilitate global awareness and to promote the hashtag #boycottputinnow through social media.

Since its launch last month, the “Boycott Putin Now” campaign has received widespread media coverage in Canada, Europe and the United States. A sampling of the media coverage can be found on the campaign’s website.

FIFA’s voting for the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) World Cup hosting rights took place under the same process and only involved FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee. United with Ukraine firmly believes this voting process was tainted with corruption. United with Ukraine is calling upon FIFA’s sponsors as well as governments of all 209 FIFA member nations to revoke these hosting rights and initiate a new, transparent selection process that includes human rights considerations as part of its voting protocol.

About United with Ukraine

United with Ukraine is an international human rights organization based in Ottawa, Canada focused on ending the ongoing Russian military aggression against Ukraine and its illegal occupation of Crimea. The organization is taking a number of steps to support the Ukrainian people as they work to restore political and economic stability. Until Russia clearly demonstrates its respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, United with Ukraine will continue to apply pressure that will further isolate Russia economically, culturally and politically.

Anheuser Busch InBev (Euronext: ABI) (NYSE: BUD) #boycottputinnow/inbev

Kia Motors (OTN: KIMTF) #boycottputinnow/kia

Sony (NYSE: SNY) #boycottputinnow/sony

Visa (NYSE: V) #boycottputinnow/visa


United with Ukraine
Paul Morozenko

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