Russia has reacted strongly to threats by British Prime Minister Theresa May that the country may have to boycott the 2018 World Cup in the wake of a diplomatic row over the attempted assassination of a former Russian double agent in the United Kingdom.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Monday that such threats would damage ties with Moscow and hurt world sport.
PM May said in the House of Commons Monday it was “highly likely” that Moscow was responsible for the attack that’s left the Western world stunned.
Some British officials have suggested boycotting the Russia-hosted World Cup later this year in response.
“We want to emphasize once again: such provocative statements, which fan anti-Russian hysteria, only complicate relations between our countries and are blow to world sport,” Interfax quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.
Fifa statutes forbid political interference in football but it isn’t clear what steps the football governing body would take should Britain carry out their threat given the extraordinary events that have unfolded over the past week.