Bloomberg Businessweek

In World Cup Politics, It’s Moscow 1, London 0

Despite sanctions and furor over Putin’s policies, Russia is poised to gain internationally from the soccer tournament

On May 19, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich missed the Football Association final at London’s Wembley Stadium, where his team, Chelsea, beat Manchester United. British officials hadn’t renewed Abramovich’s visa—making him pay the price for a deep freeze in relations with the Kremlin after the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in England. Prime Minister Theresa May had already announced that no ministers or diplomats would attend the soccer World Cup starting in Moscow in mid-June, and taking aim at the Russian most famously linked with football was a logical next step.

When Russia won its bid to host the planet’s most watched sporting event eight years

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