Australia to boycott World Cup 2018 over nerve agent attack?

Australia to boycott World Cup 2018 over nerve agent attack?

Australia to boycott World Cup 2018 over nerve agent attack?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the authorities of St. Petersburg will analyze the organization of the recent friendly match between Russia and France to ensure that the upcoming championship games will be comfortable for visitors, the LOC press service told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Iceland's soccer team qualified for the World Cup for the first time in history this year, but the country's top government officials will not be traveling to Russia to mark the achievement, remaining home in protest of the nerve-agent attack earlier this month on Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter, Yulia, two Russians who were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, England, and remain in critical condition.

"The boycott of the World Cup is one of the further actions that could be taken in relation to this matter".

However, comments by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, raised again the spectre of a sporting boycott as she told reporters yesterday that: "There are a whole range of further options of action that could be taken".

Australia has already imposed a series of sanctions against Russia following the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 and the Russian annexing of parts of Ukraine in 2014. Most of the victims were Dutch and 28 were Australians.

If May was to block the English team's involvement in the World Cup, and then persuade allies to withdraw, the tournament would be all but over.

The 21st FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Russian Federation from June 14 to July 15.

To date the actions taken by the United Kingdom and its allies have been largely confined to expulsions of diplomats, with over 100 Russian officials expelled over the last few days - mainly from the US and European countries. "This decision reflects the shocking nature of the attack - the first offensive use of chemical weapons in Europe since World War II, involving a highly lethal substance in a populated area, endangering countless other members of the community".

The final will take place on July 15 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Related news