Football may soon provide a gauge of the extent by which reason governs political decision-making in Russia.
Anatoly Vorobiev, the general-secretary of the Russian Football Union, recently floated an idea in which Russia’s national football squad would play as a team in the Russian Premier League during the 2017-18 season.
One of Ukraine’s most storied football clubs has become a casualty of the country’s separatist tumult. Six foreign-born players have abandoned Shakhtar Donetsk, leaving the defending Ukrainian Premier League champion short-handed on the eve of the start of the 2014-15 season.
It’s not unusual for American soccer players to go abroad to chase dreams of playing professionally. But you might say Nicholas Pugliese, a 24-year-old from Rochester, New York, took things to an extreme by signing with Ferozi FC, a team based in Kabul, Afghanistan.
On June 26, Russia plays Algeria in a World Cup Group H match that should determine which of the two teams moves on from group play to the round of 16. Beyond Russia’s borders, in other formerly Soviet states, there are plenty of football fans cheering for the Russian national team to win.