World Soccer

Column: Salah suckered in inauspicious World Cup start

June 13, 2018



MOSCOW –  Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho, boxer Floyd Mayweather and now, at the World Cup in Russia, Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah. The common denominator: By cozying up with Ramzan Kadyrov, they have all played their part in making the Chechen leader accused of terrible human rights abuses seem like a normal sports-loving guy. Which, of course, is the point. It's far better, if you are Kadyrov, to be seen as a friend to the rich and famous than as a brutal tyrant. That is how he is described by his many critics outside of Russia and the Russian republic he rules with support from the Kremlin. Those critics include the U.S. government. It has had sanctions in place against Kadyrov since December

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