tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 13, 2015 10:45pm-12:01am EDT
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john kerry will be in cuba tomorrow to help raise the u.s. flag over the new u.s. embassy in havana. the united states and cuba are reopening their embassies in their respective capitals for the first time in more than half a century. we will have live coverage at 9:30 eastern on c-span 2. this weekend on the c-span networks, politics, books, and american history. from the iowae state fair, presidential candidates speak at the candidates so talks -- soapbox. we will hear from rick santorum and lincoln chafee and bernie sanders. and sunday afternoon, more live coverage from the state fair with ben carson at 5:00 followed by george pataki.
night,an2 saturday claire mccaskill on her life and political career. dineshmorning at 10:30, disused talks about his new book. , with many presidential candidates, we will learn about the fair's history and its stop on the road to the white house as we look back at the 2008 presidential race. saturday evening at 6:00, on the civil war, on the 1864 battle of mobile bay, the resulting union victory, and the closing of one of the confederacy's last ports. announcer: a panel talks about the political, economic and social implications of russia holding the 25th -- 2018 fifa
world cup. the panel also looks at allegations of corruption add -- at soccer's governing body. >> good morning, everybody. i would welcome you here for us off by thanking george washington university for hosting the event this morning. and behalf of the center of global interest, my name is mike to sell. i will be very brief so we can get to what turned out to be a fantastic set of speakers. has kicked off a project that we thought up in anticipation of the 2018 world cup in russia.
we started with the premise that everything is connected, that sport is not disconnected from history and politics and anything else. if you don't agree with that, it is not up for debate today. you will have to live with it. the program will include andtional panelists publications in collaboration. it is an opportunity to look at the social, economic issues through sport. that is good for two reasons. one, we have all been invited to russia in 2018 effectively. these are rough times for u.s.-russia relations. a rough time for the russian people, increasingly isolated in many respects and an opportunity for something sort of good to happen. the debate over whether russia should host the cup is effectively over.
the world cup qualifying draw took place in c petersburg. if you are a -- in saint petersburg. if you are a soccer fan, it is over. howan have a discussion on the cup was awarded and the story behind that, but that train has left the station so to speak. i'm going to now introduces the speakers briefly. we are fortunate. everybody we wanted to come to this and talk agreed to it. so i appreciate you coming. i think you will be happy with it. so mainly to my left, professor marlee leroux, assistant director of the institute for russian and eurasian and dependent studies. -- independent studies. on research focuses nationalism and that works very well for what we are going to do here today. described aswas
the title was totally awesome. player, aantastic two-time acc player of the year at uva, which is an honor she shares with mia hamm. she is also a fan favorite. those of you who know her know why. she is also very articulate and an energetic advocate for gender equality in sports. we are happy to have you here. she is respected as an athlete importantly. at the end of the table to professor lisa dealt in writing. she has been a professor here at georgetown from us to quarter of a century. i think it's good. george washington. >> i am a george washington
student myself so i am ashamed. she is an expert in mega sports. her research falls along the lines of sports tourism and management must specifically on space affairs -- on spectators, how they interact with the event. finally, we have manuel vest. what is interesting to me is he is doing his dissertation on football in the soviet space. he did a fantastic job putting together a website. i found the website and started reading it and said let me call him and see if we can do this together. he has flown down here from victoria, canada. we are going to work together for the next three years. ultimately, we hope to be spectators together somewhere
over there. will moderateuel today? then we will save time for questions and answers towards the end of the session. mauel: thanks. thank you for having us today. i think that this is a really fantastic event to sort of just highlight some of the issues that will be with us for the next three years as russia gears up, not just to host the world cup, but what will prove to be a pivotal year in russia in 2018 seeks ton -- as putin be reelected for another term. myself, i did my dissertation on the transition
of football, commented some to capitalism. i looked at the period from 1987 to 214. i would have liked to go further but i couldn't because it is a. history paper. you have to stop at some point. but what it made me realize was that there are many issues going on right now that are very fascinating that do not fit into a phd dissertation. some of these issues you are familiar with and will have seen those issues. having013, we have been conflict in ukraine, which was made. off by the events commentatorsome saying that we are in the state of a cold war, which is a comparison i don't like very much. but what i think is that we can learn a lot from what is going
on in football and what is exley going on in russia right now. that,are certain things when you look at the way football is structured, the way football operates, that it reflects things going on elsewhere in society. i give you a few examples. when you're a meeting kicked iden -- when euro mad kicked off, in an economic base, we had the sanctions on russia which affected the ruble last christmas immensely. that ruble crisis had a deep impact on the way football is being played right now in the , as the rublee --shed, players and kosher and coaches and specialists playing in russia all got paid
and dollars. as a prism on how the rest of society and the rest of the economy sort of deals with this issue. another thing that has come a very recently is the fact that they russian football union has and hasbio capello replaced them with a russian coach. the way that comes about shows us the way russia deals with the kind of problems that come into the state apparatus to reform there are tough time reforms in the football system. what i really want to say is that football gives us this really unique opportunity to understand some of these issues and gives us a wide audience.
when you look at how many football fans there are around thanorld, it is a lot more people who follow daily politics. so what football is for me and what football grad is for me, it is a prism, a window into russia, reallyow the entire region, operates. isunderstand a region that widely misunderstood. thank you. to --hat, i give you over lisa: thank you. toave had five opportunities visit russia serving in 1988 so
i have seen quite a bit of change over those years. my last experience was in sochi during the winter olympic games. 17 consecutive olympic games, sochi ranks very high. it was extremely well-organized. it was a beautiful city. the people were great. the volunteers were super. and despite what everybody may press,ad in the mac and -- in the american press, i think the games went off fine. i'm not talking about the politics behind it and the money spent. i am just saying about the games itself. and i think they are going to do a great job as well with the world cup because they know how to organize. a crisis leading up to situation, but during the games, during the tournament, it will be fine. theard the same thing about 1980 games, that they were one of the best. i was not at those. but i just wanted to put that
all into perspective. financials, that is another situation. andave heard the reports actually some of my contacts who work for the organizing committee did confirm that, of that $50 billion a year that was thrown out for the winter olympic games, about half of that was probably not really spent on the venues. but you also have to put into perspective into that $25 billion that was officially spent. that was to build a city. that wasn't for the lipid games. so -- that was a for the olympic games. so about $5 billion of the $25 billion -- i am just going to say that is the real figure -- was on organizing the games. the rest was to build of the train system, the hotels, the rose, everything else.
i am using the winter olympic games to get perspective. because when we go to the world cup and the figures right now are about $12 billion. they cut half $1 billion out recently because of the financial situation. but you can't blame all of that money on the world cup. a lot of it has to do with the national government that decided to build 12 stadiums versus the minimum of eight stadiums. fifa has a minimum of eight stadiums. most countries, once they get the world cup can't figure out who to leave out. they want to please the whole country. ok,nstead of just saying, we are going to go with the ones that we already have and build ,hree extras, they have decided well, we can't leave that one out because that is politically important. and that when we need for this reason. so they chose to spend all this
additional money on stadiums. build the after you stadiums, you have to have all the effort structure as well. because the sponsors and the officials all need nice hotels to stay in in these areas where the stadiums are. and the spectators. so in some of these instances, i have never been to many of these cities that these stadiums are going to be built. but i can imagine that they don't have all the tourist we do have in as moscow and st. petersburg. so that is where this extra money goes to. putting on the tournament itself is about between $600 million and a billion dollars. just the local organizing committee. and that money is actually paid by fifa money. other $11 billion
that goes into the infrastructure. and half of that is being paid by the federal government of russia. now, in russia, it is a little bit different because the other half comes from sponsors and other private citizens. but from what i learned in sochi, many of those private companies that sponsor were actually government-backed. get a little bit -- unlike in the united states or germany or others, where you have true commercial entities, i find that many of these private companies have some government support in the back. is, what iat happens again learned, and correct me if i'm wrong here, is that many of those hotels were built in sochi and maybe this will happen for world cup. maybe of those hotels were built
based on loans guaranteed by the federal government. so if they default on those loans, because those hotels are not being filled up and they are not making revenue, who is really paying that? it's the federal government. so although it is a privately , ited hotel they are saying ultimately may end up as a banked hotel or venue. so just kind of try to understand. i can give you the figures that i have gathered. but, you know, how much is really private versus federally supported and federally backed is a different situation. these hard figures here, i also want to bring up that there is a lot of intangible benefits that are rarely discussed.
the russian citizens, there are 50,000 volunteers that participated in the so chill a bit games. part of my said -- part of my research is to view spectators as volunteers. a lot of volunteers that i spoke to, and these are in bars and other random places, so i do not think they were politically motivated statements that these volunteers were making. they said it was one of their best experiences of their lives. what they did was brought young russians from across russia, not just in the sochi region. and they trained them and brought them in. so volunteering is a new kind of activity that hasn't been introduced in the society before. i think it was a great opportunity. it is hard to put a price tag on it. so like the mastercard, it's priceless. i want everybody to consider
certain intangibles, also the education they received. so service quality, most people, from what i understand, they haven't had their chance to really understand quality service. olympicrough an experience or world cup, they get a letter training on service. also on media and commercialism. i think these are rather intangibles. lisa: -- manuel: thank you, lisa. i want to handover the -- ussion to marlene: thank you. i want to discuss the political
situation. is really a different way for russia to position itself. domestically, things have been changing a lot. they bid was made also between eventore the anti-putin before 2013. what seems to me very interesting is, if we look at the international aspect of that, during the last 10 years, russia has been really successful and promoting kind of russia --
this one will be the first time where russia has to display self power after the ukrainian crisis. we will see how it works or how it doesn't work. of uncharted territory where they will be going. probably at that time, they couldn't even imagine the situation would be like that five years after they made the bid. they will probably have to face -- notukrainian situation is resolved. there will have to be discussions going on. they will also have to manage street violence, something relatively usually in russia. russian law enforcement is good in managing this situation. an aspect that will be given
that publicity for the way russia handles this kind of tension. it will be interesting to see does this- how russia in such an intense political context. and in the years to come how russia manages this incredible opportunity to promote itself abroad. all these kind of megaprojects are really putin projects. you really have a highly centralized dynamic going on for all these big megaprojects. it is really centralized around putin and all his associates to make sure all the processes are going well. the second point i want to make, domestically, russia changed a lot also. it will be the year of putin reelection.
there will be an intense political atmosphere in russia. managing election is something very important for the political legitimacy. it has to be successful. you cannot show and display the success or the popularity of the leader. that will also be a moment where putin will also have to be sure all the oligarchs are well around him and to be sure that works. and a couple of all our debts oligarchs are personally involved in managing and financing some element of the world cup. that may be some moment where we will see some tension. so all these elements will be the political weight important. critically will be a
element for the russian authorities is to make sure that they will not give out a public being ae of the cup useless and crazy spending at a time of economic crisis. it is becoming more difficult. came at a time when the crisis was not indivisible. and the difference is that sochi was centralized. it was a huge project for the region. it was highly centralized. it is more difficult to manage this kind of narrative, the public spending made for the world cup useless or useful for the population because we have the economic crisis now and the russian authorities themselves don't know how it will be next year and the year after. --you just kind of slow down
if it is a structural economic crisis, it will be difficult to manage the political impact. it's not in one place. it is in several cities. they makes that centralized mechanism to help control the way the money is spent more difficult to do because it will be decentralized in many cities. for thell be important russian authorities to be sure you don't have a huge scandal issues, but also to be sure that there is not a big scandal of corruption in some of the cities that are receiving this stuff or that you have a big -- all the selected cities will get their own stadium. but they will have hotels, roads and improvements, railways. not all of them will get the world package.
so you will have to manage a local discontent. all these elements make up the political aspects of the preparation of the cup very sensitive. just to conclude, i think what is really important is russia managing its image abroad, -- and avoiding scandal at a time of economic crisis and also being sure that russia is able to avoid showing publicly economic deficiencies or administrative disruption elegies that will suddenly -- administrative dysfunctionality that will suddenly come up and lose credibility and visibility. so i will stop here. loril: we will go on with and some of the social issues of the world cup. lisa: it is a pleasure to be here.
thank you. i am not a next for it on russia at all so i don't know if i have much to say. but i do know, within the leading environment, we can often feel as if you are in a bubble. whether it is leading up to a competition or if you are in the competition,, whether it is the only bexar the world cup, so to speak. my positionome in as an athlete, it is always important to maintain the awareness of what was going on outside of the athletic environment. today, as we get into some of the questions on stuff, i will be able to give some insight on what it is like for an athlete. socially, whether it is racism or most specifically to me the whileissues, participating in a world event like the world cup. so thank you. manuel: grade. we will continue with the moderated question-and-answer session.
i am going to start with you, lisa. what can you tell us about the negotiation process with regard to agreements with infrastructure requirements, taurus travels, risen, etc., just your past expenses. lisa: as a mentioned before, it was up to -- they had a minimum eight stadiums. 30,000 is the minimum number of seats in a stadium. with those minimums, it was up to the local organizing committee, the loc, to determine how many stadiums they wanted to build and having they were. not much negotiations there. they set minimums and russia to go a little bit above those minimums. and terms of the requirements, there is a certain number of hotel rooms that the organizing committee has to secure for a
minimum amount of money. most were those, already secure before they bid. they had promised, ok, these hotels will be for fifa and this is the price that they are going to be at. and there is an escalation clause over the years. so all of these points are already well laid out in the host contract. there is not so much negotiation. in terms of the spectators, fifa x numberl, we'd like of hotels, but they don't really care about spectators. this is really a tv-made event. a billion -- i forget the numbers -- 10 billion come i think, people watch the world cup. and only 200,000 show up to it. so really, spectators, good luck.
and that is what really got me involved in doing research on spectators. why do they come? how long do they stay? where are they staying? how much are they spending? i have some students in the room here who have actually gone with me on some of my trips and have been out there bank collecting data on these spectators. whether it is home stays or in hostels. most of the spectators that are not on corporate packages kind of go on the backpack style. they just find a place because they are true fans and they will stay wherever they can. manuel: just to follow-up on because ofuick -- the ruble crisis, russia decided to downsize to of the stadiums -- two of the stadiums. how does this work? why do people not suggest cut
these stadiums altogether? they are already four over the requirement. what kind of negotiation process goes on when this kind of stuff happens? lisa: i can tell you in brazil, fifa continually told brazil you don't need to be in 12 stadiums. you really need to be innate. the country -- you need to be in eight. the country is too large. i'm sure they said the same thing to russia. but it's their money. they are spending it. so i'm going to refer back to athletes. how many are broke after they are playing? their agents tell them, put money aside, don't spend this money. but in the end, it is the country's own money. and if they want to spend it, they are going to spend it. manuel: it is an interesting comparison. it's like serving alcohol to someone who is an alcoholic. lisa: they are using it as a
showcase and they are also using it for political reasons. so putin may want this region to be happy and to vote for him. marlene: if i may join in that discussion -- fifa is not the one deciding what is a domestic discussion going on between the ridge and now it is and the regional elites. and the oligarchs who are influencing the local governments. it is politically so important for creating the unity between the different regions. making a political, not financial. lisa: right. you can downsize. but that city got 4000 or 50,000. why don't i get 50,000? so it is also that. everybody wants with the other person has.
now people are, like, why did manaus get it? because that is a large area in northern brazil that somebody wanted to satisfy. but one thing i wanted to talk about in terms of centralization , in sochi, it was the most situation and where the organizing committee was located in moscow. ,ot until the very last year really nine months, did most of the people moved down to sochi. from an economic perspective, i thought that was really strange. i had gone over to sochi and all the local people cap say, oh, all of the decisions are being made up in moscow. this is your event. but in fact, it really wasn't there event. it was all run through headquarters. so you talk about centralization -- obviously, because there is a headquarters for world cup and it is usually held in the biggest city.
for brazil, it was always in rio, the headquarters for result when he 14. i thought it was very's -- headquarters for 2014. i thought it was very strange for sochi. manuel: marlene, one of the questions, i mean, the world cup is hosted from moscow. that is the center of it all. but what kind of effect do you think has a tournament like that on a nation? where russia represents its nationalism sort of through this big event? event likethink an this means in a country like russia? marlene: globally, it means a lot for every country receiving this kind of event. verynk we should think
carefully that what is happening in russia is so specific. all these issues are happening in all these country -- all these countries. but in russia, the fact that the marginalization on russia internationally is very much visible on the way the russia nvidia is speaking to that one population. i went to russia last month and you could really feel people feel misunderstood. so you can see already the political authorities will try to lock consensus and get popular support for their own population in trying to make the cup a big event that really shows again, as sochi, the legitimacy of russia to be a great power and to be recognized. i think it will be a high-level popular support. after surgery, there is a general point of view among the russian population that the surgery games were
positive -- the sochi games were positive not only for the russian image abroad, but the dynamism in russia. it hasn't really demonstrated for the region. but the mainstream media pushing for telling the population that everything is an economic success. you can see already in the survey we have that the population hopes a lot that things will have changed a lot 2018 and that russia will be recognized internationally and the financial benefits for each city receiving the cup will be very visible. you have popular pressure in each of the selected cities. you can really see how people hope it will help improve the well-being of the population. the big issue being, of course, the future of the economic crisis and how we could impact witha's strategy globally this kind of showcase. manuel: i will direct the next
question to you, lori. what is the -- what is it like to be in event like the world cup? we have a cup of pointers here with the infrastructure, etc. you played in germany. what does it mean for the athlete coming to a country like russia, playing a new facilities? what effect does it have on the football infrastructure on the ground and what is it like for the athlete playing there? lori: thank you. and a time when you are in an international competition, it anlly helps offer opportunity to bridge cultural differences, which can aid in more awareness and appreciation in differences and diversity. i think it really depends on the athletes. i have had -- you know, in germany, we didn't have many issues. it was a spectacular event.
canada put on a wonderful world cup for the women. so specifically for russia in 2018, i know i have had some teammates play over there, go over there and play. i played a little bit in germany, in their legs. professional league, but there wasn't an infrastructure to really play the players. so there was some corruption in that regard as well. aspect, i think it will be interesting to see -- you know, 1.i like to bring up prior to the sochi olympics, one organization i am involved in is athlete ally. about a hundred. -- a hundred professional athletes can together to basically bring up the draconian anti-gay law that they had in place and put pressure on the
modifyforce them to their olympic charter & deliver six. -- and principle 6. the did have them. there is a way to inspire athletes not just within their sporting event that they are participating in, but also to inspire change and bring these cultural differences outside the sport. i think you see that again prior to the sochi olympics. a lot ofis also within the u.s. athletes. within the world cup that just took place in canada, you saw the nigerian athletes can't lgbtq issues or even the russians in fear of persecution.
with my friends who played in the league in russia, they can bring those lessons learned that they experienced over there back and how we can implement and help change going into the 2018 world cup. if that make sense. manuel: yeah. marlene, i was wondering if you could comment on these things. especially what kind of out -- impact do you think athletes all over the world coming to russia, what kind of impact will that russians themselves and also on the image of russia in general? marlene: two things. on the anti-gay legislation in russia and the lgbt issue, of course, the preparation of the cup, it is fully open in russia. but if you can consider that you
have the media pressure coming from the political authorities it is a very, conservative society where these issues are very difficult to be discussed. we should hope that everything will change faster in russia around this issue. you really can see the ovulation for all these -- they population -- all of these anti-gay to have an open discussion on this issue, minorities have friends who are suffering athletes and try to open the discussion. but that is a very sensitive issue that is really played out by the authorities. so that is something that will be visible in two or three years
when we are close to the days of the cup. globally, and other important issue, the results of the cup could be more positive. everything related to the high level of xenophobia in russia, -- showing on tv international group playing together and so on around sport, i think that is a good message that will probably impact more, especially the young generation of russians who are kind of xenophobic just because they don't know the other and they don't have a narrative or they don't know how to learn to discuss these kind of cultural differences. on that, i am more optimistic the the couple have than on gay lesbian issue that is really difficult right now. manuel: i've been working very
closely with a company called fair in russia. i recently visited moscow for an event that had to deal with racism and xenophobia in russian football. struck methat really was the fact that the dialogue had finally started. one thing that i repeatedly wanted out to journalists in russia was sort of at this point , why the west is targeting u.s. -- targeting us because of the racism issue. for you guys to address issues, such as racism, xenophobia or even gender equality, do it now. if you do it now, he still have three years -- which is of course not enough to fix the problems, but if you do it now and you show good faith and
addressing it, i think you will be in a much better situation than you with -- then if you just let it go. it would be really similar to what ukraine i think what you say is very interesting. we still are quite a long ways off in actually resolving a lot of the issues. points that iher wanted to make in terms of spreading the world cup across , it does force people to go to other cities in russia other than moscow and st. petersburg. ograd, places that most americans and europeans wouldn't even know existed. similar to brazil, everybody just goes to rio or maybe sao paulo, but they really push people to visit other places.
those citizens in those locations get to meet foreigners as well. no, italy, i'm surprised how many of the locals said, this is great. and that's italy. think what this is going to do to russia. one other thing is that i've heard over and over how german football has improved since posting the 2006 world cup. and what impact will that have on russia now that they'll have some infrastructure? they do receive some money. about $100 million or more from fifa. not saying that is going to go far because of corruption, etc. what does this do for football? you would be better able to answer that? manuel: as i said in the opening remarks, one of the things that
has happened recently is that the italian coach who made millions and millions of dollars was fired by the russian football union. he was more to blame for having very poor results, but he wasn't given very much to work with in the beginning because the infrastructure that he was given , the training grounds, everything, they match up to what german and english have, but he wasn't given that kind of infrastructure and he wasn't given the material. the players were old and russia has missed that playing development step. there is a bright spot. ago won,just two years the 19s a big deal, and finished second at this year's euros. i was skeptical that these
players would be ready in time for the world cup, but i think what you are saying in regards to germany, germany take started their project. the goal was actually to win, which they failed to do, but it brought up the current generation that won the world cup in 2014. i think you are right. a tournament like that can go a football inreunite a traditional football country especially. lori, if you want to maybe comment on that as well and what kind of impact a world cup can have on players in that country. as a canadian, i wonder what it will be like for canada in the upcoming years. great example, the 1999 world cup, just how electrifying
that can be and really ignite a country and get them excited about the sport, and encourage and propel other youth athletes to get involved in that sport as well. 1999, we had a little bit of a lull afterwards between our professional leagues in the early 2000's to the late 2000's, but i think what happened in germany happened here. myselfted players like who were coming up the ranks to get involved and to play more often, and you see that group with the world cup. we hadn't won the world cup since 1999. just like germany, it can get people excited. it also empowers, specifically with the females, to speak out about issues.
in this world cup, not only did we win, but you saw quite a few more athletes who spoke out, came out publicly, and arguably in my opinion at some of their best world cups. i think that inspires and creates a freer level of play. , wheny at a level that you are playing in an environment where you are free and being your true self, i think you saw that. being a wonderful role model for upcoming female athletes as well. manuel: one image that stood out for me was -- [indiscernible] hugging her partner after the u.s. won the world cup in vancouver. away, we have robbie rogers who is openly gay. he could be at the world cup maybe.
do you think in three years time, we might have a male gay athlete playing at the world cup ? [indiscernible] think we could have something like that in russia or is it still too far away in terms of gender equality? lori: it is tough to say. it is exciting for me to talk hugging andombak kissing her partner, having one of the best tournaments of her career so far. i think that was inspired by her coming out and being true to herself. is, weortunate thing still have a ways to go in terms of, as i mentioned earlier,
nigeria and russia, fear of persecution if they come out, -- soabout being gay, or i think we still unfortunately have a way to go. i'm only speaking about my experiences. which ay is a platform bunch of us players in the u.s. team are involved in. that is a platform to speak about advocacy and a quality. but you don't see that in a lot of other countries. even though that's exciting on one end, it is still quite unfortunate on another. i think it is hard to say. i would say it is a little too soon. there is a move both within the olympic movement and fifa to better educate the national football associations
on good governance and fair play and equality and situations like this. it will take time. just look at our country. racist-free.'t we have our challenges too. and i think we are all growing. we are all trying to improve. it is not going to happen overnight because you are bringing the world cup here. a lot of people think, the world cup is coming, everything is going to be wonderful now. it just doesn't happen. i think it can move the needle and that is what we are trying to use sports four. if we work hard enough and use the media and players, we can move the needle a little bit, but it is not going to move you forward 50 years. specifically for this women's world cup, it could be a good platform for that.
move the needle a little bit. manuel: yeah. lisa: this goes back to the 1936 olympic games, jesse owens, hitler. there is example after example of how sports has had an influence on society. lori: you mentioned -- manuel: you mentioned the influence on society. i'm going to ask this question to marlene. -- howyou think important is the world cup as a soft power for a country like russia, and when you take the example of the sochi olympics, where it was very much a display of, they were called putin's games, how do you think this will play out in the world cup 2018, especially with regards to the election held three months before the tournament kicks off. marlene: that's the kind of hard
balance game. it will be a difficult balance game for russia. they will be under the media spotlight for their presidential election a few months before. they will have to manage the soft power. as i said in my introduction, that will be the first major soft power event after the ukrainian crisis. that will be interesting to see. well as itl work works for the soft power that russia displayed or it will not be so successful. what seems to be so important is that it will be the last -- fourthill be in his mandate, and officially the last one. so that is something where, at least if he hopes to stay until the last day of the last
mandate, it will be a very symbolic importance for him in a that heway of showing has almost 20 years of political presence in russia. theerms of soft power, olympic games are all the sports. this is the soccer cup. summer is so much linked for russian population to europe. it is a european sport. you really want to play with the big european countries. in a sense, it makes that kind of symbolism of the world cup even more visible. you really have to interact with countries that russia consider as its equal, or the ones she wants to partner with, the u.s. and european countries.
i think that will be a kind of very high-level focus for russia and for the population. that is the narrative around this kind of reconciliation. that will be a kind of howresting moment to see they will suddenly have to display a very positive narrative about western culture. make the shiftto before the cup arrives. lori: you want to add to that -- manuel: you want to add to that? eventsost hosts of major want to bring visitors in. i'm a little confused on the russian visa process. there were so many people who did not go to sochi, one because
of the fear the u.s. media put in everybody, but also the process you had to go through to get to sochi. all the visa requirements and all that. also, i was brought over to advance andonths in i supposedly was doing a sports tourism session. i said, where's the tourism people? one of my specializations is how to leverage major events to increase tourism and economic impact in the future. and they are like, we don't have any tourism development here. i said, this is your chance to do that. so there's a missed opportunity if russia -- maybe this could be their platform, talking about building a tourism infrastructure, doing a plan, building their image, then more people would go to russia as a
tourist destination. again, i'm not sure they really want that to happen. intersect, ito believe russia will actually get rid of the visa process for world cup ticket holders. that will already make it a lot easier. if we get any indication from brazil, i believe 40,000 americans traveled to brazil for the world cup, and brazil had a visa process for americans as well. that gives us an idea where we go with this if you maybe want to comment on that. lisa: brazil waived the visa fee for americans if they showed they had an actual ticket. i have not yet heard that for russia. it would be great if they waived -- on top of the visa, we had to get a tourist or
olympics spectator card in sochi as well. there was two things we had to go through. manuel: wouldn't it be in the best interest of a country like tosia to bring in tourists say, we are an open society? isn't that in the best interest of a host country in general? lisa: that is what they should be doing. everybody says the olympics in greece were the fault of the economy right now. i don't think it was. it was poor planning. i got a call six weeks ahead of time, what can we do to leverage the games -- you are late. if you go to fifa's website, they have each city listed and a description of the cities. but it is kind of old. you have to spice it up a little bit. they are just not used to marketing and tourism marketing
especially. i think they need some help there. maybe --y last point, i hope for russia that the next big event in football is the .uro 2016 in france i think traditionally the world cup kicks off after that. then it is one year to the confederation cup, two years to the world cup. i think that will be sort of the deadline, wouldn't it, for a country like russia to get ready and say, this is what we are doing. lisa: no, they should start now. [laughter] lisa: because now, you start working with sponsors. after the last world cup,
everybody starts looking at the and one, doing other plans, now is when they need to start. so you have it all planned, you kick it off during the euro, but if you don't start planning until euro, you are not going to be ready in 2018. planning takes a while. manuel: thank you. one last question, and this is for everyone. mind, and maybe we start with marlene on the right, do you think it is worth hosting the world cup? marlene: yes. manuel: why? not letting you off the hook that easy. marlene: i think it is very important for a country like russia to get this kind of recognition. that is an important tool. we have been discussing how russia's soft power will be
playing around the cup. that is also our own soft power that we can use on that occasion. i think it is a nice way where we can celebrate what we share together with russia and try to put everyone at the table of the discussion. i think it is a wonderful opportunity on both sides. we can also flavor it. --also have to [indiscernible] the population will be very much interested in sharing more stories about their experiences. i think everything makes sense. lori: i would agree. just provides an open dialogue for some of these social issues, whether it is racism or gender equality issues. anytime you can bring some of
these issues to light, it can be always positive. i think there's a lot of misunderstanding in media about the money and how it is spent and all of that, like the boston situation. i think the bostonians lost a great opportunity to host an event that would probably change their city. but maybe a lot of people in boston don't want their ci ty changed. russia, it is as we discussed before, an opportunity to open them up a little bit. the world cup has never gone that way in that area. i think that is what fifa was saying. open up and get more people excited about football and give them some infrastructure.
overall, i think there's a lot of tangible and intangible -- there's the leaders, and people will make money off of it or do it for their own reasons, but let's look at other reasons too, like the volunteers and the youth. remarks, ifinal think that russia has a fantastic opportunity with this world cup. this world cup is, in my opinion, long overdue. russia is the oldest and biggest european country to have never hosted the world cup in the past. there has been a lot of debate on the process. i want to take that aside and leave it open. we can probably agree that everyone who did on that world cup probably has some dirt on their hands. i think russia 2018 is a huge
opportunity, not just because , but because it will open up a dialogue as you said. point where weis are in u.s.-western relations, that is probably the best thing that could happen to us right now. thank you. we will do question and answer now. i will take the opportunity to ask one question myself. we are here in d.c., in virginia, we have a proud tradition of women's soccer. if you could just talk to us about our soccer scene here in d.c. and the united states. we are getting a new stadium for united. look back at the u.s. right now. we now have premier league on nbc and the women's cup was very successful in terms of television. talks u.s. about that. time extremely exciting
for women soccer. and i would argue women's sports in general. i don't know how many people know we actually have a professional women's league and a team in d.c. i don't know why we call ourselves d.c. when it is an hour away, but that is beside the point. since the world cup though, we have nine teams in the league and every stadium up until i want to say last weekend was sold out for the most part. there's an exciting time for out justyers, to speak in regards to promoting the game, promoting women's sports in general. so if you do live close to
germantown, you should check out the washington spirits. we do have one of the best stadiums in the league, at the germantown soccer plax. it is an exciting time to get remotewomen soccer and -- and promote gender equality in that regard too. anything else i should speak about more? we are entering the last few games, last month of the season, so it is pretty tight playoffs. we talk about a three-week break in the middle of the season. now, the world cup players and the national players as well are back playing with their teams, which has sparked excitement as well around the league. i would argue it is the most competitive league around the world. definitely athletically. product,onderful
family-friendly environment. i should be a spokeswoman for the league. definitely check out a game. unless something goes terribly wrong, we should make the playoffs. >> [indiscernible] >> thank you. this question is for marlene. the socialreciate soft power economic benefits of russia hosting the world cup. i'm of ukrainian descent. i have a completely different perspective on this, a biased perspective obviously, because i betweenanalogy drawn
hitler hosting the 1936 games, i see putin as being the 21st century hitler, getting more emboldened by showcasing again after sochi, i can't fathom -- i think there are two big elephants in the room here. fifa is undergoing its own investigation here for corruption. i question how this process occurred, why russia was awarded hosting the games, whether bribery was involved. the second elephant in the room is, russia invaded ukraine. again?showcasing russia coup in his as a head. he's a dangerous man.
if you could comment on that, please. thank you. marlene: on the corruption issue , that is a huge elephant in the room, but russia is not the elephant of the room. i think it is a general debate over the label of corruption. globally in sports and in fifa. oil countrybeing an has you being easily corrupt and corrupting because money was easily especially at that time. for me, it is kind of a general discussion. i hope the investigation will go on. demonstrate that they have evidence that russia and qatar really won because of corruption schemes, then i don't know what would exactly be the process, but i think we can develop on that issue.
for me, it is a general issue where russia is one element among many others participating globally in this corruption scheme. on russia-ukraine relations, that is something very specific. argument, and i understand you would be unsatisfied with it, is that it is not through the world cup that we will stop that issue. if we are solving the issue politically, then what else can we do? the west has been failing in securing ukraine's security since the beginning of the crisis. it is more about our own general inability to find a solution to secure ukraine's integrity. it is a small issue for us. it is a big issue for russia. on that, we have been a little bit naive about the capacity of the west to resist on something where globally, the current
context for the west and europe is not the major issue. russia, the capacity to do whatever it wants almost in ukraine because it is mr. putin and he has the popular support. russia havingk the cup because of the ukrainian issue doesn't make any political solution and doesn't send any good message because we don't have the political or military or financial institutions to help ukraine. it is just that we don't have any kind of good solution. fifa could be the last element. if we try to focus on that, we are avoiding saying that we don't have the real long-term solution for the country. i understand that doesn't solve anything for the ukrainian people. i don't know how the ukrainian
team will be playing and so on. that would be a political issue. [inaudible] between the anti-west sentiment putin's russia, there's a very real issue. it really is. again ism the games another feather in his cap. it just emboldens the man. he was given the games way before this issue actually came up. to answer your question about corruption, it is likely. we don't know. it is allegedly option -- a
legit corruption. the issue is that everyone has dirty hands. the only proven case of corruption was england 2018, where they have found cases of payments being made. most likely, there was corruption involved. yes, probably. that is how these games are awarded. lefthe train has sort of because the tournament is set in stone. the same issue can be said about qatar. i'm not sure if this world cup is really another feather in ead, because i'm not sure it is going to be as beneficial for him as he thinks or as the west thinks. it is going to open up t