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Boris Johnson Forced To Clarify Suggestion Britain Might Skip World Cup After Former Russian Spy Found Poisoned

Should they pull out?

Boris Johnson Forced To Clarify Suggestion Britain Might Skip World Cup After Former Russian Spy Found Poisoned Sky News

Boris Johnson has had to clarify his statement, after he warned Britain may not attend the FIFA World Cup in Russia if it’s found Russia poisoned a former spy.

Sergei Skripal, once a colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on Sunday on a bench outside a shopping centre in southern England on Sunday. The pair are still critically ill and it’s unclear what substance they were exposed to.

"We don't know exactly what has taken place in Salisbury, but if it's as bad as it looks, it is another crime in the litany of crimes that we can lay at Russia's door," Johnson told the British parliament on Tuesday.

"It is clear that Russia, I'm afraid, is now in many respects a malign and disruptive force, and the UK is in the lead across the world in trying to counteract that activity."

If Moscow were shown to be behind Skripal's illness, Johnson said, it would be difficult to see how UK representation could go to the World Cup in Russia in a normal way.

“Thinking ahead to the World Cup…this summer, I think it would be very difficult to imagine that UK representation at that event could go ahead in the normal way.”

Former England defender and assistant manager Gary Neville branded Mr Johnson a "useless fool", asking on Twitter: "Why bring football into it?" while fellow Labour MP Toby Perkins said the suggestion was "pathetic".

A government source has since said that meant attendance of ministers or dignitaries.

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