The Opportunities of The 2018 Football World Cup

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

MOSCOW — The 2018 FIFA world cup is a great success for Russia on and off the pitch. Russia opens its arms to the world and allows football fans from all over to come to Russia without a visa.

Russia’s openness  is a chance to regain trust and sympathy. In order to build on this,  Russia will have to make substantial improvements in both the Syrian and Ukrainian situations and improve its human rights record. Amnesty has put together a team of 11 political prisoners /  human right activists from each of the 11 regions that host the World Cup.

The names of all 11 team brave members are: Oyub Titiev, Andrei Rudomakha, Irina Maslova, Igor Nagavkin, Valentina Cherevatenko, Igor Rudnikov, Oksana Berezovskaya, Igor Kalyapin, Yulia Fayzrakhmanova, Aleksei Sokolov, Vasiliy Guslyannikov

Another field with opportunity of improvement is the situation of the LGBTQ+ community in Russia.  PinkNews reports that “a gay football fan has been hospitalised in Russia after a vicious attack ahead of the FIFA World Cup.”  “Pride”, nominated in the 2015 Cinema for Peace Gala, displays with humor and accuracy the joy and appreciation for life which animates all, regardless of sexual orientation.

Russia should grasp these rare opportunities to foster world peace in the limelight of the World Cup – which inspires change all over the world. Iranian women for example have since 1981 been banned from attending any football game in their country.  The national team’s victory over Morocco seems to have sparked change: the Tehran provincial council made the shock decision to open the doors of the Azadi stadium to women for public viewing for Iran’s recent game against Spain.

The 2006 film “Offside” is of particular relevance in relation to this recent development.

Cinema Peace