Vladimir Putin does not care about boycotts, sanctions and the transfer of the Champions League final from Russia against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine

The snorting of ONE cannon from a Russian tank and the retaliatory boycott of a football stadium looked like what it eventually became, a hopeless gesture.

Despots like Vladimir Putin will not be deterred by the equivalent of a slap on the legs, the history of failed sports boycotts has repeatedly told us.


Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be embarrassed by any sports action after his country’s invasion of Ukraine.1 credit


Wembley “showed solidarity” with Ukraine by lighting up its arch in blue and yellow.

“Is that all you have?” — a boxer’s smirk that almost sums up Putin’s attitude towards the West’s attempts to convince him to stop invading Ukraine.

Of course, this required much more than just threatening to take the Champions League final away from St. Petersburg, which UEFA finally did.

UEFA’s overconfidence and the gullibility of the West have led them to believe that a bundle of financial threats could sway thug Putin and his henchmen.

It reminds me of my dad’s army theme: “Who do you think you’re kidding, Mr. Hitler?”

Read Putin instead of Hitler.

We already knew that Russia is a rogue state that feels it has to answer only to itself.

In Britain, the murder of their deserting agents showed us all the complete lack of morality of the Moscow leadership.

What’s more, the sports world is only too aware of the shocking illegal drug use encouraged by the Russian state to try to increase the number of medals.


It got to the point where they drilled a hole in the wall of the toilet so that urine samples could be swapped.

The International Olympic Committee banned all official Russian teams and then, almost unbelievably, allowed them to compete, calling them the Russian Olympic Committee, but without the national flag or badges.

Putin knows this is the kind of compromise he can count on.

He used corruption to host the 2018 World Cup in an infamous double deal with FIFA that moved this year’s competition to Qatar, which itself appears to have escaped any number of boycott campaigns.

Causes included the deaths of hundreds of workers building stadiums, the unbearable summer desert climate, and bribery and corruption of the committee that voted for it.

Football boycotts have a controversial history.

The fans stayed away from all sorts of protests, but it took Blackpool fans four years away from Bloomfield Road to get rid of the Oyston family, who had brought the club to its knees.

What we know about boycotts is the futility of shooting at targets far outside that class.

One, perhaps, succeeded. League and FA clubs refused to have anything to do with social media for four days in protest against racist and offensive content. However, I have my doubts.

So, should the sports boycottists just give up and keep sticking their ears to the highways?

The Africans were not so radical.

There were 14 countries that abandoned their attempt to reach the final of the 1966 World Cup because they felt it was unfair to allocate half a place (it would take too long to explain) as a qualifying prize.

Which, of course, it was. But all this is lost in another folk tale.

What we know about boycotts is the futility of shooting at targets far outside that class.

The war was once started by a football match (in El Salvador against Honduras, you ask), but will never be decided by one by one – whatever the rambunctious followers of Celtic and Rangers may think.

The St. Petersburg shot didn’t have a chance to score. But I do imagine Putin initially referring to a row of dummy communist dummies sitting in opulent splendor in the Kremlin, scratching his head and saying, “What are we going to do about the cup final, comrades? They play dirty.”

No, he’s a guy who acts dirty. Really very dirty.

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