World Cup 2018: MPs join Nick Clegg call for Russia to be axed as hosts over shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17
Douglas Alexander, the shadow Foreign Secretary, urges world football’s authority, Fifa, to begin contingency planning
Labour and Conservative MPs joined Nick Clegg yesterday in calling for Russia to be stripped of its right to host the 2018 World Cup, as part of tougher sanctions over the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Douglas Alexander, the shadow Foreign Secretary, urged world football’s authority, Fifa, to begin contingency planning in case the Kremlin continues to defy world opinion over its suspected interference in eastern Ukraine.
Mr Alexander also called for an emergency EU summit to consider sanctions against specific Russian industries, and an immediate arms embargo. He added: “If it is confirmed that Russia carries direct responsibility for downing flight MH17, and the Kremlin continues to sponsor and fuel the conflict in Ukraine, then Fifa will surely face calls to reconsider if Russia should host the competition in 2018. Fifa should therefore be undertaking contingency planning now.”
His comments follow a stark warning from the Deputy Prime Minister, who told The Sunday Times that if the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, did not change course, then “it’s just not on, the idea that Russia will host the World Cup in 2018. You can’t have this – the beautiful game marred by the ugly aggression of Russia.”
Douglas Alexander has called for an emergency EU summit to discuss sanctions against Russian industry
Sir Hugh Robertson, the former Sport minister who handled the UK’s 2018 World Cup bid, added that it would be “absolutely right in principle” to punish Russia in this way – but warned that it could be difficult in practice.
When Margaret Thatcher called for a boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980 over the invasion of Afghanistan, athletes who defied it included Sebastian Coe and Colin Moynihan, two future Tory MPs who are now both Tory peers, while those who boycotted are forgotten.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...