FA clarifies England's World Cup stance amid Prime Minister's Russia boycott

Mar 19, 2018, 04:10
FA clarifies England's World Cup stance amid Prime Minister's Russia boycott

Media in the United Kingdom, which could never forgive Russian Federation for its clean victory to host the FIFA World Cup over London, are the most active players in the calls to boycott the global competition, the press release added.

Mourinho has refused to answer questions on his involvement with the channel - formerly known as Russia Today - since last week's poisoning.

"To my mind, this is blood money, paid directly from the Russian state coffers", he said.

British officials have suggested a possible boycott of next summer's tournament in Russia after the March 4 poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent.

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Tensions between the United Kingdom and Russia increased on Wednesday when Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and confirmed no government ministers or members of the Royal Family will be attending the tournament.

Mourinho is not the only high-profile football figure connected to RT, with former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and ex-Liverpool winger Stan Collymore also working for the channel.

Bryant's message was backed by fellow Welsh Labour MP Stephen Doughty.

"Serious questions are already being asked about participation in the Russian-hosted World Cup", he said.

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"Such proposals [to boycott the World Cup] come not only from journalists, but also from officials - in particular from U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and from the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat", the Russian foreign ministry told news agency Interfax.

There may also be retaliation against British journalists if broadcast regulator Ofcom decides to revoke the United Kingdom licence of Russia Today, the Kremlin-funded channel accused of pumping out propaganda and fake news.

Soviet football icon Simonyan, who won an Olympic gold medal and reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 World Cup, called for sport to not become mixed up in politics.

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