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Blatter condemns calls to boycott 2018 World Cup in Russia over Skripal Case

Former President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Joseph Blatter said Thursday that he does not support the idea to boycott the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia amid
the poisoning scandal.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, were found unconscious in a Salisbury shopping centre in early March 14, are being treated for exposure to “A234” substance, according to the UK
experts, who say it is of Novichok type of military-grade nerve agents.

On March 11, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that her country would lower the level of the official delegation at the World Cup because of Russia’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

May specified that neither high-ranking officials nor representatives of the royal family would attend the championship. Later, Icelandic media reported about the possibility of the country’s officials boycotting the tournament as well.

Blatter urged for the championship to commence “in peace and for peace.”

“Football has up to two billion followers. FIFA-World Cup 2018 in Russia: The most important sport event in the world.

“Therefore no boycott! Let’s play the game in peace and for peace!” Blatter wrote on his Twitter.

On March 13, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova that the accusations were aimed at undermining trust in Russia as the organizer of the FIFA World Cup.

Russia will host its first FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15.

The matches will take place in Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg.


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