Australia consider withdrawing the Socceroos from World Cup

World Cup 2018 By: Ambrose Udeme | 27/03/2018

Reports say Australia have become the latest 2018 FIFA World Cup-bound nation planning to boycott the 2018 World Cup in response to Russian spy scandal.

Independent say Australia foreign minister Julie Bishop admits that withdrawing the Socceroos from Russia 2018 is among ‘further actions’ that are being considered by the Australian government.

On the day that the Australian government announced that it is expelling two Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack in Britain, Bishop also warned that the Socceroos could be withdrawn from the World Cup – which takes place in Russia this summer – as they consider further actions against the nation.

"There are a whole range of options of further actions that could be taken. The World Cup is one of the further actions." Bishop said on Tuesday after announcing the expulsion of the Russian diplomats.

The threat follows similar comments made by British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who raised the possibility of the England team considering a boycott of Russia 2018 – before clarifying that the Government are not in favour of such a measure.

The Australian Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull, said in Tuesday that the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury earlier this month demanded a response, and follows similar action from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.

"To do nothing would only encourage further efforts to undermine the international rules-based order upon which our security and prosperity rely." Turnbull said.

Australia has also added to the growing calls for Russia to disclose the full extent of its chemical weapons programme, and relations between the two countries remain poor due to the sanctions that remain in place on Russia over its involvement in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine in 2014.