McCain: 2018 World Cup in Russia should be 'reconsidered'
Arizona senator John McCain said on an ESPN/ABC podcast that the decision to award Russia hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup should be reconsidered.
McCain, however, said there should be no boycott against Russia.
“It absolutely should be reconsidered, but I would hasten to add that a unilateral decision by the United States would not bode well,” said McCain, R-Ariz. “I’d like to see the United States and others — say, the British perhaps and other countries — raise the issue in ordinary meetings, periodic meetings that they have. Say, ‘We need to discuss this issue. Is it appropriate to have this venue in Russia at this particular time, and aren’t there other countries that would be far less controversial?’”
McCain, who has been an outspoken critic of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Russia's status as host of the 2018 tournament has been heavily scrutinized recently in light of the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine.
The European Union and the United States have enacted broader sanctions against Russia after pro-Russian separatist rebels allegedly shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
FIFA has rebuffed calls for a new host in 2018, saying in a statement last week that the World Cup can be a "force for good" for Russia.
- Chris Johnson