I have no idea how much he loved the game but some guys retire and intimate that they didn't eat and breathe football like other players. Some great players even say they really never loved the game. People just have different levels of feelings for the game.
Gross also seems like the kind of guy who has other career aspirations
The best read I can get on this is that is in our best interest to simply let it play out. Russia is making a play that isn't really that beneficial. The EU hates it, the rest of Europe hates it. People are saying this benefits China somehow...they don't like it either.
Russia is breaking rules and alienating some of its allies.
To spend resources on what is the equivalent of Quebec is self destructive and not our business.