The current political situation between the United Kingdom and Russia is unraveling fast and it is continuing to creep into the soccer world.
With calls for the England national team to boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia this summer, the British Prime Minister confirmed on Wednesday that both members of the Royal Family and Ministers from the government will not attend the tournament.
On Monday the British PM, Theresa May, claimed that Russia was involved in the poisoning of a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia who were living in the English cathedral city of Salisbury. It is believed they were the subject of an attack with a suspected Russian manufactured nerve agent on UK soil which led to a large part of the city being cordoned off.
Skripal and his daughter remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital, plus a local policeman is also hospitalized and local residents have been warned about the impact of the military-grade nerve agent which it is claimed were developed with Russia influence.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the stance from May is a “circus” and the Russian Foreign Ministry had the following to say in a statement: “As we expected, the United Kingdom is especially active, being unable to forgive Russia for winning the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup in a fair struggle. The UK media outlets are actively repeating calls for a boycott.”
The situation between the UK and Russia unraveled further on Wednesday after the latter failed to respond to a deadline set by the British government to explain their side of the story.
As for the Three Lions, the English FA believes it will still send the team to Russia, but the tournament is becoming about a lot more than just soccer for Gareth Southgate‘s side.
England have been drawn into Group G in the competition alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama.