Former coach of the Russian national football team Guus Hiddink spoke about the decision of FIFA to remove the national team from the play-offs for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“Now in general difficult times, football is not so important today – more and more worried about the political situation. The whole world is on fire. In a global sense, it does not matter where even the youngest athletes come from – they respect each other, compete on equal terms with others. Tournament competition is based on friendship and respect, and not just in hockey. In politics, there is no talk of this at all.
I live in the Netherlands and support all my friends from Russia. I talk to some of them, they also do not understand what is happening. Football is a small problem compared to what Ukrainians have to endure. Sport, in general, only suffers from the fact that someone is trying to sort things out with each other. But normal people remain normal: in Moscow, St. Petersburg and throughout Russia, in Ukraine, in Europe or China. Everyone is in good contact. And politicians should learn from people from the sphere of culture, music, sports. It’s incredible. Catastrophe. But still, the sport has something to strive for, ”Hiddink said in an interview with the correspondent of the Championship, Michele Antonov.