Russia Denounces Provocation to Sabotage FIFA World Cup

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"To my mind, this is blood money, paid directly from the Russian state coffers", he said.

Some British officials have suggested boycotting the World Cup, which is set to take place in Russian Federation this summer.

The Russian channel announced Mourinho as its main pundit for Russia 2018 a day after the incident in Salisbury, but the Manchester United manager has repeatedly refused to answer any questions about the role.

The British government it would respond decisively to any Russian government's involvement, in the wake of the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England.

The channel is seen by its critics as giving a platform to conspiracy theorists as well as far-right or anti-establishment figures who emphasise Western hypocrisy or corruption.

Former top-flight stars Stan Collymore and Peter Schmeichel also work for RT, as do politicians George Galloway and Alex Salmond.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday that it was "highly likely" that Russian Federation was behind the attack and promised "extensive measures" against the country if an explanation was not provided. So now they want to "punish" us with a World Cup boycott.

"I would urge leading football figures to rethink - not least after this week's revelations - whether their punditry on Putin's mouthpiece is appropriate", Doughty said.

"Such proposals [to boycott the World Cup] come not only from journalists, but also from officials - in particular from U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and from the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat", the Russian foreign ministry told news agency Interfax.

With Gareth Southgate due to name his squad later today for this month's friendlies against Holland and Italy, the FA finally issued a public statement on Wednesday on the escalating crisis against a backdrop of calls in some quarters for the England team to boycott the World Cup.

"This letter explained that, should the United Kingdom investigating authorities determine that there was an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom, we would consider this relevant to our ongoing duty to be satisfied that RT is fit and proper".

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