Russia should be stripped of the 2018 World Cup in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, says Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
He said it was “unthinkable” at present that the tournament could go ahead in the country blamed by the West for supplying arms to pro-Russian separatists suspected of shooting down the jet.
Football’s world governing body Fifa this week ruled out calls from some German politicians for Russia to be boycotted, insisting the tournament could be “a force for good”.
But Mr Clegg told The Sunday Times that allowing it to go ahead without a change of course by Russian President Vladimir Putin would make the world look “so weak and so insincere” in its condemnation of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support for the rebels.
“If there’s one thing that Vladimir Putin cares about, as far as I can see, it’s his sense of status,” he said.
“Maybe reminding him that you can’t retain the same status in the world if you ignore the rest of the world, maybe that will have some effect on his thinking.”
Russia has reacted angrily to additional sanctions imposed by the EU, saying they would hamper co-operation on security issues and undermine the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
Russia’s foreign ministry also accused the US of contributing to the conflict in Ukraine through its support for the pro-Western government in Kiev…. see more