Johnson likens Russian World Cup to Hitler's use of Olympics

26 March, 2018, 02:46 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Boris Johnson giving evidence to the foreign affairs committee yesterday. He said the thought of President Putin basking in global attention during the World Cup this summer made him feel sick

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it is sickening to think of President Vladimir Putin glorifying in Russian Federation hosting the World Cup and agreed there are comparisons with Adolf Hitler's use of the 1936 Olympics as a propaganda vehicle for his regime.

Mr Johnson added: "I think it is an emetic prospect frankly to think of Putin glorying in this sporting event".

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have begun work at the scene of the nerve agent attack on former Russian agent Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury, a Reuters photographer said.

Hitler wanted the 1936 Games to be a symbol of Aryan supremacy and famously refused to shake hands with American star Jesse Owens, the black track and field athlete who won four gold medals in Berlin.

Boris Johnson has compared Russia's hosting of the 2018 World Cup to Nazi Germany's notorious Berlin Olympics in 1936 as tensions over the Salisbury nerve agent attack heightened further.

Speaking at the Foreign Affairs committee in Parliament, Labour MP Ian Austin made the remark and called for England to boycott the tournament.

Johnson added: "The boundaries of Moscow's dominions have been rolled back and I think Vladimir Putin feels that very keenly and he feels Russian Federation lost out, so he wants to cause trouble wherever he can".

He said Johnson's statement was "really obnoxious and is inappropriate for people of his rank".


He said it would be "wrong to punish" football supporters "or the team who have worked on this for a long time, incredibly hard, given up their lives to it".

However, while giving evidence to MPs, Mr Johnson said the trail of evidence led to the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I think Vladimir Putin feels that Russian Federation lost out, so he wants to cause trouble wherever he can", Johnson said.

Russia's reaction underlined that with less than three months until the World Cup, the war of words between the United Kingdom and the Kremlin shows no sign of abating.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich yesterday weighed in with his comments against the British establishment.

The Russian team was given a suspended disqualification and the country's national football federation was fined.

"The British government is free to make a decision about its participation in the World Cup but nobody has the right to insult the Russian people who defeated Nazism and lost more than 25 million people by comparing our country to Nazi Germany. We will imply maximum efforts to see that everyone is extremely satisfied with the world championship".

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