- The prospect of boycotting this summer’s World Cup in Russia is escalating
- The FA do not believe the government are currently considering a boycott
- Officials in Wembley and Westminster have discussed the current political crisis
The Football Association’s top brass have held talks as the prospect of boycotting the World Cup in Russia escalates, Sportsmail can reveal.
The FA do not believe the Government are considering a boycott but officials in Wembley and Westminster have discussed the growing political crisis.
On the day Prime Minister Theresa May said it was ‘highly likely’ that Russia was responsible for a spy attack in Salisbury — which she described as ‘an unlawful use of force’ — Sportsmail understands discussions on the situation have been held by the FA.
The FA’s top brass have held talks as the prospect of boycotting the World Cup in Russia grows
The view at Wembley is that it remains a matter for the Government and not the FA and, based on the fact that a possible boycott is not currently on the table, there are no thoughts about aborting their plans for this summer’s tournament in Russia.
England manager Gareth Southgate is due to name his squad for this month’s friendlies against Holland and Italy on Thursday.
The FA nevertheless recognise the seriousness of the situation amid concern — expressed by experts in Russia — that there could be serious safety concerns.
Theresa May said it was ‘highly likely’ that Russia was responsible for a spy attack in Salisbury
Only if the Government intervene and declare it dangerous for Southgate and his squad to travel to Russia would they consider withdrawing. So far, no such concerns have been expressed.
Mrs May said on Monday: ‘Either this was a direct action by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of its potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.’
But the Kremlin called the accusations ‘a circus’ and ‘a fairytale’ in a response that echoed their reaction to evidence of a state-sponsored doping programme that led to the country being banned from last month’s Winter Olympic Games.
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.