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Switzerland

Soccer Scandals: Locals Want Zurich To Give FIFA The Boot

A pair of city councilors is urging Zurich to cut its decades-old ties with FIFA, soccer’s worldwide governing association. Not only do they say scandals have made FIFA bad for the city’s image, it’s also a waste of money.

The FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland
The FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland
Peter Aeschlimann

ZURICH -- The view of Zurich from up here is magnificent. The blue and white FIFA flag -- "For the game, for the world" -- flutters over this little corner of verdant paradise known as Sonnenberg. Right now, the soccer field is empty, the wurst stand closed, so all you hear aside from the faint hum of traffic in the city below is the clatter of pots and pans in star chef Jacky Donatz's eatery. That, and the sonorous voice of sports reporter Walter de Gregorio talking on his cell phone.

De Gregorio is standing in the parking lot between a Maserati and a Smart car, smoking. His stint as consultant to FIFA President Sepp Blatter ends at the end of September. His job is to give Blatter input about how the soccer association could communicate better. "There has to be a systematic clean-up," de Gregorio is saying into the phone. "Zero tolerance!"

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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