Russian politicians want FIFA to kick the U.S. out of the World Cup

Republican Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Dan Coates of Indiana co-wrote a letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter last week demanding that the Russian national team be expelled from the 2014 World Cup and the 2018 World Cup — which Russia will host — be relocated following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The senators cited FIFA’s decision to exclude Yugoslavia from the 1994 World Cup, a result of the Yugoslav Wars, as a precedent.

“Since Russia has similarly displayed a brazen disrespect for fundamental principles of Fifa and international law, [we] hope you will agree that it doesn’t deserve the honour of either hosting the World Cup or participating in one.”

Russian politicians have responded, demanding the United States national team be suspended. Alexander Sidyakin and Michael Markelov wrote Blatter this week, and the former tweeted “an eye for an eye, a ball for a ball.”

The letter reads:

“Dear Mr. Blatter,

…We respectfully ask that you urgently convene an emergency session of FIFA to consider suspending US’s membership in FIFA and denying the United States Team the right to participate in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

According to Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes: “discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

Spice Girls stars, Gary Barlow join England legends for World Cup song

Star names from the world of music and football have come together to record England's official 2014 FIFA World Cup single. (Take That's Greatest Day)

Take That frontman Gary Barlow was joined by Gary Lineker at Sarm Studios in London for the song's video recording early on Wednesday morning (March 5).

Several former England players and other pop stars will also be part of the single and video, which is being recorded at the same location where the iconic Band Aid video was filmed in 1984.

The promo will be shown for the first time during Sport Relief night on BBC One on Friday, March 21.

Sport Relief has since revealed the identity of a number of singers involved with the track via Twitter, including Spice Girls Mel C and Emma Bunton and ex-Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh.

Conor Maynard, Eliza Doolittle, Katy B and Pixie Lott join former England internationals Sir Geoff Hurst, Dion Dublin, Gary Pallister, Kenny Sansom, Carlton Palmer, David Seaman, Gary Mabbutt, Michael Owen, Glenn Hoddle, Peter Shilton and Martin Keown on the track.

The song is expected to be released in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer, which takes place in Brazil.

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