Boris Johnson has said that "United Kingdom representation" could pull out of the World Cup this summer if Russia are found to be responsible for the ‘poisoning’ of a former spy.
Sergei Skripal, 66, a former Russian agent who was convicted of treason in Moscow for passing state secrets to British intelligence, is critically ill along with his 33-year-old daughter in Salisbury District Hospital.
They were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the centre of Salisbury on Monday afternoon after ‘suspected exposure to an unknown substance’.
The Kremlin has denied any involvement and said it has "no information" about what happened.
Johnson insisted on Tuesday he was not "pointing figures", but said that "no attempt to take innocent life on UK soil will go unpunished".
And, speaking in the House of Commons, the foreign secretary warned that could mean boycotting the World Cup in June.
“If things turn out to be as many members suspect that they are, I think we will have to have a serious conversation about our engagement with Russia,” said Johnson.
“And for my own part, I think it will be very difficult to see how, thinking ahead to the World Cup this July, I think it would be difficult to imagine that UK representation at that event could go ahead in the normal way.
“We will certainly have to consider that.”
UPDATE: Sources from the Foreign Office have now clarified Johnson was not refering to the England team, but that he felt it would be difficult for British “officials and dignitaries” to attend the tournament.