Australia to boycott World Cup 2018 over nerve agent attack?

England player considers hiring own security firm to travel to Russia with his family for World Cup

The Australian government on March 27 announced the expulsion of two Russian diplomats in support of a global effort against the Kremlin over an alleged nerve agent attack on a former spy who lived in Salisbury, the UK.

Government leaders from Iceland are joining British officials in staying home from the World Cup this summer in Russian Federation. Iceland later followed suit by, also refusing to send official state representatives to the World Cup, with the Russian envoy to the country Anton Vasilyev saying that Iceland was temporarily suspending its bilateral contacts with Russia "at the highest level".

It comes after European countries, including 16 EU member states, as well as the USA and Canada, announced that they would be expelling Russian diplomats over the Skripal case.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has suggested several tough measures which include the boycotting of the FIFA World Cup.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 79 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.

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"There are a whole range of options of further actions that could be taken".

"We have sought clarification regarding the Foreign Minister's comments about the World Cup", they said.

"The boycott of the World Cup is one of the further actions that could be taken in relation to this matter", she told a media conference.

However, there is little public appetite for a boycott of the World Cup in England, which has been reflected in comments by England manager Gareth Southgate (who has argued England should definitely participate) and also in media comment which has pointed to the danger England could be excluded from future Federation Internationale de Football Association competitions if a political boycott was imposed by the country's leaders.

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