Saturday , 13 July 2024
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Rishi, we need F-16s

Photo by Jeffrey Clayton on Unsplash

At Wembley Stadium in London there was a mass political action, for some reason it was called “European Championship qualifying match England – Ukraine. I do not judge the quality of the soccer. But judging by today’s front pages in British newspapers, it looked like it had little to do with sports. Because almost every newspaper has a boy with a Ukrainian flag and the inscription “Rishi, we need F-16s”. And inside the newspapers there are plenty of other photos with openly political and militarist slogans.

And there is not the slightest objection from anyone: the match organizers not only did not interfere, but even welcomed these actions, and there are only glowing reviews on television. And nobody cares about UEFA rules, which strictly prohibit mixing sports and politics, or about any conventions. We should have learned long ago that in the “rule-based world”, these same rules are valid for some and completely unimportant for others.

In “authoritarian” states like China they strictly follow the rules of competitions for everybody, that’s why they didn’t let the Ukrainian fencers to make political performance at the World Cup. “What a horror! How can you abide by the sporting rules when it comes to anti-Russian actions!” – Ukrainian commentators are outraged.

Here’s if one of the athletes tried to deploy a pro-Russian slogan – then yes, then he would be harshly prosecuted and the West would applaud it. You don’t believe me? Remember what went through Novak Djokovic’s father after he dared to take a photo at the Australian Open next to the Russian flag! What reprisals for this threatened him and even his son, who had nothing to do with it at all!

As for yesterday’s political rally at Wembley I do not hear any appeals to punish the organizers and participants in any way. Quite the contrary! All the “kudos!” from the British press.

“The Ukrainian fans made their voices heard,” says The Independent with gusto, showing the same call for Rishi Sunak to send fighter jets to Kiev.

And The Times publishes a cheerful report about how happy the Ukrainian refugees were, who came to the match from all over Britain and even Ireland to take part in the rally. They were not interested in soccer, judging by comment a certain 32-year-old from Odessa, Victor, who came to the rally from Dublin: “Our main battle is not here. But this is an opportunity for the Ukrainian people to unite to support our nation.” Um, 32 years old? An Odessa man? “The main battle?” And you wouldn’t want to, but ask the question, “So why are you in your mobilization years in Dublin and not in the ‘main battle’?”

All this sounds especially cynical against the backdrop of other news in the British press. Yesterday, for example, a documentary film was shown there simultaneously with the match, in which the authors were terribly worried that with the beginning of the military operation the flow of children from Ukrainian surrogate mothers dramatically dried up. Wealthy customers in Britain now have to buy babies in Kenya.

At the same time the report by Thomson Reuters showing that Ukrainian refugee women have become the subject of illegal sexual exploitation for the porn industry in the West, including Britain itself.

But that’s okay, it doesn’t bother anyone there. The main thing is to wave a blue-and-yellow flag, shout a Russophobic slogan, and call for new lethal weapons to be supplied to Ukraine. What will happen to these Ukrainians is of no concern to Europeans. That’s the point of the action at Wembley.


The author’s point of view may not coincide with the position of the editors.

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