Sochi 2018 FIFA World Cup — Humanity and Justice are Among Top Losers
By: Adel Bashqawi
28 June, 2018
There is no doubt that hundreds of millions of people around the world have followed, watched and still the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup matches and competition in cooperation with the Russian authorities. It is not surprising that the games are held in several cities belonging to the Russian Federation. However, it is disgusting to note though that four gams are held in the Black Sea city of Sochi. This alone reminds of and recounts a history of bloodshed, extermination, occupation and deportation of Circassians from their homeland. It indicates lack of interest in the affairs and fate of a nation that was subjected to one of the worst committed crimes ever. However, the FIFA games public viewing articulates and confirms boasting and bragging in 2018, the way it was in the nineteenth century. Then, brute and mighty power was demonstrated through a military victory parade carried out in Sochi by the victorious Russian Tsarist army on May 21, 1864.
Regardless of what were the football games’ scores, they didn’t reach the victims’ figures and numbers. Nevertheless, the competing players and parties are not blamed, because when they were preparing for the world cup, they were concentrating on winning the games. No matter where the games draw result has come to, or where to take place, there was no time to look through the history and background of the region to find out that horror has taken place in the past.
Eventually, it is good to know that the “undisturbed forests surrounding the city are a UNESCO World Heritage site,” but it is not mentioned that large parts of the protected areas, natural reserves and forests have changed their features without blinking an eye, especially when preparations were underway to hold 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. That led to changing the region’s landmarks radically.
“During the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Sochi’s tourism infrastructure underwent significant and extensive expansion and renovation. The resulting new accommodation and transport infrastructure provides a modern and tested state-of-the-art tourism environment for visitors attending 2018 FIFA World Cup™ matches in the city.” (https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/destination/cities/city=35268/index.html)
The area is described to be a beautiful place according to environmental experts. “Damage was particularly severe in the Mzymta River Valley, where activists say some 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of formerly pristine forest — home to rare species like Caucasian wingnut trees and Black Sea salmon — have been lost. ‘The Mzymta Valley had the most diverse ecosystem in the region. It was a beautiful place’, Gazaryan said from Tallinn, Estonia. He dismissed official promises of reforestation for the area. ‘Of course we can put some trees. We can breed some animals. But we can’t restore an ecosystem. We lost a territory for the future’ … ‘Before, it was impossible to build something like Olympic facilities or hotels and roads in national parks’, said Andrey Petrov, a geographer and member of Greenpeace Russia. ‘That became possible’.” (http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/1/21/russia-jails-environmentalistonemonthbeforesochiolympics.html)
In conclusion, those concerned should take into account all the violations committed during the past era and still going on in different ways and means. Abuse and breach continue against both nature and human rights. An appropriate roadmap should be prepared to assert violated rights, and for the restoration of the Circassian nation’s rights in accordance with international laws and norms. “To deny people of their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. Nelson Mandela” (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8701449-to-deny-people-of-their-human-rights-is-to-challenge)