It has been the most curious turn of events with the Australian government voting to boycott and 2018 World Cup in Russia. Australia has confirmed that no Australian representatives will be travelling to Russia for the event. Australia in the World Cup is a fraught relation.
The Austin Government has given the World Cup a cold shoulder refraining from sending its official delegation to attend the event in person. Austalia is de facto joining another commonwealth country, the United Kingdom in boycotting the event, following alleged attacks on UK soil.
Why does this matter? As tradition would have it, the opening matches are usually attended by delegations, and most importantly, heads of states from all countries and governments and thus create a ground for off-the-cusp political negotiations.
This move doesn’t exactly come out of the blue. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop mentioned in the past that the possibility existed that Australia may in fact proceed and give the event the cold shoulder.
In the words of Bishop, the Australian Government didn’t want to interfere with the decisions taken by the Football Federation of Australia, particularly on the matter of the World Cup.
Still, the Australian Ambassador in Moscow is expected to be attending the football games.
Why the Rift with Australia’s World Cup?
Australia has been one of the most vehement critics of Russia’s human rights abuses both at home, in neighbouring states, and most recently on the territory of the United Kingdom. With the forceful annexation of Crimea and the proxy war in Ukraine, Russia has little to show in the way of upholding human rights.
What’s more concerning still is that Russia may have been involved in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which took off from Amsterdam on 17 July 2014, and was allegedly downed by a missile fired by a Russian missile system.
If proven true, that is a terrifying prospect and a good reason for Australia to shun the World Cup event.
Australia has also requested a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government in a bid to secure compensation payment for the families of the victims.
Meanwhile, Australia’s footballers want to continue and attend the match. FFA has said that it supports the tournaments values of non-discrimination. FFA has also obligations to continue & participate in events that are part of the FIFA family and hosted by the organisation. With FIFA competitions taking place often, it would be unwise to renege on this agreement.
In the words of FFA, Aussie footballers are eager to continue ahead with their participation in the World Cup. Some footballers, though, have complained that they had been attacked with political questions. In essence, Aussie footballers want to keep things focused on football and avoid politicizing the issue through football, which has always proved a divisive thing to do.
What’s up for Australia in the World Cup?
Australia is a land of dangerous critters and baking beaches. The nation’s football team, however, has not succumbed to either. The country sports a great team, which promises to make quite the difference! However, it will not be easy.
Australia had the fortune to play France, Peru, and Denmark as part of its group stage. All of these opponents, bar Denmark, I suppose, are rather challenging to tackle, and as such, would be a real test to the mettle of the country. You may wonder if Australia can make it through the group stages and into the quarterfinals? Well, not to incite a bit of geopolitical animosity here, but – the team has much better chances than Russia.
France is the biggest challenge Australia will ever have. Defeating France would be a major feat, but even drawing may be seen as a definite achievement from the standpoint of some. In any eventuality, Australia is in for a tough one, as France has already held the title itself and has been competing in the latest stages of the competition more often than not.
The Nordic People
Denmark may seem like an easy opponent, but Danish is in fact quite the decent footballers, even if they haven’t had the fortune of competing for much in the later stages of the competition. Some may see in it the fact that in general, Danish is not very competitive and enjoy the game more so than they do putting themselves over others. Of course, a rather poor analysis, we still believe that Denmark is a tough opponent and the face-off between Aussies and Danish is quite interesting to behold!
Peruvians will be a tall order for the Aussies. Perhaps a spanner in the works could be the fact that Moscow will be rather more chilly than what Aussies and Peruvians are used to, but even then there’s something about the Southerners that makes them play well.