It shouldn't come as a big surprise, but FIFA announced on Friday that they will not take the 2018 World Cup away from Russia, despite a strong outcry against the nation from all across the globe.
The governing body of world football released a statement, as reported by The Associated Press (via Fox Sports), explaining any form of boycotting a major sporting event is "not the most effective way to solve problems":
[FIFA] deplores any form of violence. History has shown so far that boycotting sport events or a policy of isolation or confrontation are not the most effective ways to solve problems. [The World Cup] can be a powerful catalyst for constructive dialogue between people and governments.
[...] FIFA believes this will be the case for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Russia have received strong backlash from the public over their controversial laws regarding homosexuality, and as reported by Fox Sports, their alleged involvement in the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine has reignited the discussion.
FIFA has a history of trying to stay out of politics, and for all of the controversy surrounding the nation, it never seemed like Sepp Blater and Co. would go as far as relocating the 2018 World Cup.
That doesn't mean people weren't upset when they found out. Actor David Schneider senses a pattern:
Russia, Qatar. FIFA won't rest till they can award the 2026 World Cup to Mordor.— David Schneider (@davidschneider) July 23, 2014
Bundesliga expert Clark Whitney wonders how popular the tournament will actually be:
Football fans: How many of you would actually go to Russia for the 2018 World Cup? Good way to get arrested for just about anything— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) July 25, 2014
Local authorities are still investigating what exactly happened to the plane that crashed in the Donetsk region, and FIFA were never going to take drastic action before all of the details of that investigation came to light.
The discussion will likely carry on, despite FIFA's clear stance on the matter, but for now, it looks like Russia 2018 will go on as planned.