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Putin, Russia, and the FIFA Confederations Cup | DW Documentary



Published on Jun 13, 2017
The FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off on June 17th in Russia. FIFA is battling to repair a tarnished image, while Russia under Putin wants to prove itself.

The FIFA Confederations Cup is being held from 17 June to 2 July 2017 in Russia. The tournament is considered a dress rehearsal for the World Cup Finals the following year. It is supposed to demonstrate the progress of preparations for the biggest soccer competition in the world.

DW’s documentary looks behind the scenes of this mega-event, which has been characterized by budget over-runs, corruption, human rights abuses and racism.

The Confederations Cup is a high-risk event for the host country. Memories of the rampages by Russian hooligans at the European Championships in Marseilles are still fresh in football fans’ minds. The reporters talk to ringleaders of the riots, who have connections with the highest echelons of the Russian political leadership and look at the prospects of the World Cup in 2018. The journalists also investigate whether - like the Olympic Games in Sotchi 2014 - dozens of millions of funds for the construction of new stadiums have filtered down into the hands of oligarchs loyal to Vladimir Putin, while some workers there are still waiting for their wages months afterwards. And worker protection laws have long since been hollowed out especially for the World Cup.

And FIFA? For its president, Gianni Infantino, who has close ties with some of Russia’s billionaire oligarchs, the Confederations Cup will be a litmus test of how much soccer’s world governing body has learned from the biggest crisis in its history: what is FIFA’s stance on working conditions in the host country? What is it doing to combat hooliganism and racism in Russia’s stadiums? What has it got to say about Putin’s restrictions on the right to demonstrate?
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