Prime minister Theresa May has confirmed that all UK politicians and members of the royal family will boycott this year’s World Cup in Russia.
May’s announcement comes amid heightened political tensions in the wake of the alleged attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, by use of a nerve agent in Salisbury.
Russia denies being involved in the matter, while both victims remain critically ill in hospital.
Addressing parliament on Wednesday, the prime minister said she believes it is “highly likely” Russia was behind the attack, and stated that no UK dignitaries would be attending the tournament, which runs from June 14 to July 15.
Princes Charles, William and Harry have all been present at previous major tournaments, but May made it clear that would not be the case in Russia this year.
“There will be no attendance by ministers – or indeed members of the royal family – at this summer’s World Cup in Russia,” the prime minister said.
“The Russian state was culpable of the attempted murder.
“Many of us looked at a post-Soviet Russia with hope. We wanted a better relationship and it is tragic that President Putin has chosen to act in this way.”
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