Russian world chess champion Garry Kasparov calls for a political boycott of the 2018 World Cup

World-renowned chess champion Garry Kasparov calls for a boycott of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Kasparov addressed his concerns to foreign politicians in his column for the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

A Russian Grandmaster, the 13th world chess champion Kasparov said that by boycotting the tournament at such a late stage, the individual teams would only be punishing themselves. "In principle, I do not favor late boycotts of sporting events, since I believe it punishes only the athletes.  What I do favor is the political boycott of the [current] regime in Moscow and those hostile actions that the Russian leadership is taking," Kasparov wrote in his column.

Ian Austin, a Labour Party MP, compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to the leader of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler, and stated that the England national team should boycott the tournament. According to him, Putin uses the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Russia this year as a "PR exercise," just as Hitler used the 1936 Olympics in Germany. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson agreed with Austin. This opinion was expressed during discussion in Parliament.

"In the transformation of the lieutenant-colonel of the KGB who dreamt, in his own words, about the career of the oligarch, but by an unexpected turn of fate rose to the pinnacle of power… into a mad dictator, able to burn the world in the fire of the nuclear apocalypse, there have been considerable contributions by domestic thought leaders, fastidious persons, for many years, for the sake of their own comfort and well-being, constantly finding justification of the gradual sliding of Russia into the Fascist swamp," Kasparov said.

  Garry Kasparov, Putin, World Cup