Australia to boycott World Cup 2018 over nerve agent attack?

Lothar Matthaus captained Germany to the 1990 World Cup

Lothar Matthaus captained Germany to the 1990 World Cup

Nevertheless, games like Germany vs. Brazil, Mexico vs. Croatia and Spain vs. Argentina captured global attention, with viewers tuning in to assess the teams just two-plus months before the World Cup begins.

Iceland's government representatives will not attend the World Cup in Russia this summer, in solidarity with the United Kingdom after a chemical attack on Russian former agent Sergei Skripal and her daughter in Salisbury, which the British government has blamed on Moscow.

FIFA - which is now investigating Football Federation Australia over its governance structures - would expel and punish Australia should the Socceroos not attend.

A few hours later, Ms Bishop tweeted: "That is wrong - the government is not considering a boycott of the World Cup".

Iceland's decision came as 16 European Union (EU) countries today gave a large number of Russian envoys notice to leave their territory.

"There are a whole range of options of further actions that could be taken [against Russia]".

Clarification on Bishop's comments is being sought from the foreign minister's office and Football Federation Australia.

"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.

That is wrong - the government is not considering a boycott of the #World Cup.

Russia is certain to respond to the diplomatic expulsions with measures of its own and anti-Russian rhetoric is only deepening in response to the Skripal affair.

Bishop has explained the tensions could mean Australia will not participate in the showpiece event in Russian Federation. "If we won it we would be demonstrating that we have got the best football team in the world and it should be about that".

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