US senators want Russia removed as 2018 World Cup host

A letter sent by US lawmakers to FIFA president Sepp Blatter cites the Ukraine crisis as a reason to strip Russia of the World Cup.

A group of US senators is asking FIFA to strip Russia of hosting the 2018 World Cup.

The bipartisan letter, dated March 31, was signed by 13 senators, including Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, and Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, and cites the Ukraine crisis as a reason to bar Russia from staging the global showpiece.

The letter was sent to FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, with a copy also forwarded to the US Soccer Federation.

"With the goal of ending the crisis in Ukraine and ensuring a successful 2018 World Cup, we strongly encourage FIFA to deny the [Russian President Vladimir] Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup and make preparations for an alternate host country," the senators wrote in a statement widely released to media outlets on Wednesday.

Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also signed the letter.