FIFA World Cup

Four countries are mulling a diplomatic snub of the 2018 Fifa World Cup that is billed to start in June in Russia.

The nations -Poland, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark- are considering the move to show their support for Britain which already has said no minister or member of the royal family would grace the event with their presence.

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The move is in protest of the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

The Skripals survived the nerve agent attack but remain in critical condition.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said her government had found that Russia was “culpable” of the attack; a charge Moscow angrily denies.

The diplomatic snub is however not expected to include the participation of the national teams of the nations.

Polish President Andrzej Duda’s office said he will be skipping the tournament’s opening ceremony on June 14 in Moscow.

“Yesterday, the president made the decision not to participate as a representative of Poland at the World Cup in Russia,” presidential chief of staff Krzysztof Szczerski told RMF FM radio.

Iceland’s national broadcaster RUV said the foreign ministry was consulting with its “allies” about a joint diplomatic boycott, AFP reports

RUV said this possibly referred to Sweden and Denmark because they too are playing in Russia.

“The Icelandic government has not made any decisions on possible measures in the wake of the attack but will continue to elaborate and consult with its closest neighbours and allies,” the foreign ministry said in a separate statement.

Swedish foreign ministry spokesman Per Enerud told AFP on Monday “this is one of many ideas we are looking at”.

The Danish foreign ministry also told AFP that the punitive step was under discussion but that no final decision had been reached.

Meanwhile, Russian officials reacted to more boycotts with anger.

“You can only feel sorry for Iceland’s officials — they would have loved to root for their team,” parliament’s sports committee chief Mikhail Degtyarev said.

“It is sad to see Iceland become the fodder of an information and political war against Russia.”