Sports

Russian Federation hits back at United Kingdom, cites 2018 World Cup

Russian Federation hits back at United Kingdom, cites 2018 World Cup

Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, remain in a critical condition after they were exposed to what United Kingdom authorities have described as a "nerve agent" in the English city of Salisbury earlier this month.

The statement also criticized warnings from UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat about the tournament.

England's football team will still go to the World Cup in Russian Federation this summer, unless the Football Association are told directly by Government that they are not to attend, Sky Sports News understands.

The ministry was responding to calls in the UK to shun the event in retaliation for Russia's alleged involvement in the poisoning of former British spy Sergei Skripal, 66, in Salisbury, UK. London might also ask other countries to join the boycott.

Tugendhat said it was "extraordinary" the World Cup was being held "in a country that used murder as an instrument of state policy" and said "a boycott should be kept on the table".

There have been increased calls for England to boycott the World Cup for fear the team would be putting themselves in harm's way were they to attend.

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"We want to emphasize once more: Further provocative false stories that stir up anti-Russian hysteria will only complicate the relationship between our countries and bring a blow to world sport".

While that seems likely to prompt the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Britain, a possible boycott of the World Cup is being reported in some circles as another option being privately considered.

The vice-president of the Russian Football Union, Nikita Simonyan, also commented on the matter, saying that the poisoning incident should not affect the hosting of the World Cup in Russia.

"As we expected, the English are especially active in this, they can not forgive Russian Federation for winning the rights to host the 2018 World Cup instead of them, which was a fair decision after a fair election".

Prime Minister Theresa May said earlier on Monday it was "highly likely" that Moscow was responsible for the attack.


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