Two Russian politicians have written an open letter to FIFA demanding that Sepp Blatter remove the United States Soccer Federation from the world governing body, a move that would rule them out of this year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
The missive mirrors a similar political gesture made by US senators Dan Coates and Mark Kirk last week, in which the American pair petitioned FIFA to prohibit Russia from taking part in this summer’s competition over its actions in Crimea.
On Tuesday, Duma members Alexander Sidyakin and Michael Markelov posted the letter to Blatter, highlighting "U.S.’s military aggression against several sovereign states” and “numerous cases of human rights violation all over the world revealed by E. Snowden."
Sidyakin later tweeted: "It’s an eye for an eye, a ball for a ball. Don’t the let the USA take part in the 2014 World Cup! End their membership of FIFA."
Fortunately for football fans, there is little chance of FIFA jeopardising its four-yearly cash bonanza by throwing either team out, regardless of the political situation.
So with the USA in group G and Russia in group H, the entire world will be hoping that both teams make it out of the group stages to set up a politically charged match-up in the knockout stages.