There is a very dark shadow hanging over the World Cup this year, for in no uncertain terms it has just been announced that Russia DID play a part in the downing of Malaysian flight MH317 which was blasted out of the sky on July the 17th 2014.
In fact, an open letter has just been made public which has been signed by families of those who died on that fateful flight, in which it goes onto say that fans of soccer need to be aware of that dark shadow.
In total some 40 Australians were killed after the destruction of MH317, but with it being announced that it was a Russia based military unit that fired the missile at the aircraft, many Australians are of the mind it may be in their best interests to boycott this year’s event, to show respect for those who were killed.
The open letter was published on the Novaya Gazeta website, which is an independent news website focusing on Russian news and is therefore going to be read by people living in Russia, and it calls on football fans to spare a through for those who lost their lives on that flight as they watch the World Cup 2018 matches.
That does pose the question of what would you do, if you are now in the final stages of planning a trip to Russia to watch the Group Stages of the World Cup, but you are now aware the host nation was responsible for the death of 298 innocent people?
How Australians Will Show Their Respect
I am of the mind that Australians will show their respect for their fellow country men and women and the children who died on flight MH17 in one of several different ways, whilst I doubt black armbands will be worn perhaps a minute’s silence will be held before the start of the first Group Stage match.
Having said that though it will be a snub to the host nation if Australians do pay their respects which they should do, as it was Russia that blew that plane out of the sky in the first place.
Politics should always be kept out of sport; however, it will be hard to concentrate on the soccer for the families of those killed in that air disaster knowing the very country in with the ground their national team are playing on was the cause of their loved one’s death.
It will be interesting to watch events unfold, from both players and spectators, as Australia do play their first Group Stage match, and I am sure that they are going to hold some sort of vigil or will be doing something in their own unique way before the match is played.
For reference Australia will be playing against France on Saturday, June 16, in Kazan as the first match in the Group Stages, followed by them playing Denmark on Friday June 22 in Samara and then Peru on Wednesday, June 27, in Sochi.