FIFA apologizes to Ukraine after using map that gave Crimea to Russia

Crimea’s kind of a touchy topic right now, and has been for a while. Is it part of Russia? Not really, no matter what the map FIFA used during last week’s emblem reveal might say.

Yeah, FIFA went there. While unveiling the icon of the 2018 World Cup, FIFA displayed a map showing the Crimea peninsula in southern Ukraine as part of Russia. From Vladimir Putin’s pint of view, that’s a historically accurate representation. Ukraine was understandably pissed, since Russia stole the land earlier this year.

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Not surprisingly, FIFA didn’t catch its boo-boo, forcing the governing body to issue and apology:

“As part of the official emblem launch, the Local Organizing Committee commissioned a local creative agency with an art projection on the Bolshoi Theatre as a unique photo and filming opportunity.

“Unfortunately, a map of Russia, showing the Ukrainian region of Crimea as part of Russia, was selected and used during the projection by the local service provider which escaped FIFA’s attention when uploading the video footage on our website and YouTube channel.”

That’s kind of a big deal.

“Once this unfortunate incident was brought to our attention we immediately removed the short sequence in question. We regret any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate incident and will assure you to be more attentive to the material produced by the third parties in the future.”

For those in Russia freaked out about how the annexation will affect the World Cup, this offers a small bit of encouragement. This may have been FIFA literally turning a blind eye. If FIFA can’t care enough to make sure a map’s right, is there really the will to yank the World Cup?

For Ukraine, though, it just sucks. Nobody seems to care about getting its land back. There are new passports, people are being pressured to switch citizenship. Now, they’re not even double-checking the maps, anymore. Ukraine’s learning the hard way: The world’s not really so 2014 after all.