MOSCOW: A local promotional agency is likely to be shown the promotional red card after a blunder with a video extolling the excitement ahead at the 2018 World Cup in Russia writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
An introductory film during the presentation of the logo for the finals displayed disputed Crimea as Russian territory.
The image appeared briefly after a clip from Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina in the final in Brazil.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine to general international condemnation last spring and world federation FIFA and European authority UEFA are wrestling with the issue: the Ukraine federtion claims that three of its clubs have been ‘kidnapped’ by the Russian Football Union.
FIFA has clarified that a Russian agency commissioned to assist with promotion of the emblem had been at fault.
A statement said: “Unfortunately the map of Russia selected and used during the projection by the local service provider escaped our attention and the short sequence in question has been removed.”
The presentation included a promise from Russian President Vladimir Putin to FIFA’s Sepp Blatter that all construction work for the World Cup would be completed well ahead of time. Russia is planning on using 12 stadia in 11 cities.
Putin also announced comprehensive security measures “but which not inconvenience athletes and fans.”
For the Olympic Winter Games in February in Sochi, Russia deployed 40,000 security personnel.
Blatter has rejected calls from some European Union and United States. politicians for a tournament boycott because of the Ukraine conflict.
He said: “When some politicians say that the World Cup in Russia should be boycotted, I say, on the contrary, we should invite everybody because we are connecting people.”