RUSSIA ROW: LABOUR MP CALLS FOR DEBATE ON WORLD CUP SHIFT - Soul 2 Soul Mates Blog

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3/16/2018

RUSSIA ROW: LABOUR MP CALLS FOR DEBATE ON WORLD CUP SHIFT

RUSSIA ROW: LABOUR MP CALLS FOR DEBATE ON WORLD CUP SHIFT
There is a growing appetite among MPs to push for international action over Russia hosting the World Cup this summer in the wake of the Salisbury incident, a Labour backbencher has said.
John Woodcock called for parliament to debate whether the government should ask its allies to advocate postponing the tournament or moving it to another country.
“I would like to see a parliamentary debate on whether concerted government action together with other countries to postpone the World Cup or move it to another venue would be the right way to go,” Woodcock told the Daily Express.
The Barrow and Furness MP broke ranks with his party leader earlier this week to support the government in blaming Russia over the poisoning of the former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a nerve agent.
Woodcock led a group of Labour MPs said to have numbered around 20 in signing an early day motion “unequivocally” accepting the Russian state’s culpability for the 4 March attack.
On Thursday the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said there were no plans to stop England competing in the World Cup, but he said there would not be any “high-level representation” at the event.


Woodcock said: “This is a decision which should be shared between the government, the fans and the FA. I don’t want to see anyone dictated to and I am not calling for England to unilaterally withdraw from the tournament. But there is a growing appetite among MPs to push for concerted international action over the World Cup. It should be on the table because of the appalling magnitude of what Russia has done.”
Another Labour MP, Ian Austin, said: “I am very concerned that [Vladimir] Putin will use the World Cup in the same way that Hitler used the 1936 Munich Olympics, as a public relations exercise for a brutal dictatorship.”
The FA said it would “continue to work closely with the government and relevant authorities”.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday, Labour’s Stephen Kinnock said: “I also think we should seriously consider about making a coordinated approach to Fifa and talk with Fifa and other allies about moving the World Cup to 2019 and having it hosted in a different host country or countries.”
Theresa May, Donald Trump, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron issued a joint statement on Thursday in which the foreign leaders endorsed May’s conclusion that it was “highly likely” Russia was behind the Salisbury attack.


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