Previous
Liverpool
Borussia Dortmund
1
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester United
San Jose Earthquakes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Bayern Munich
Paris Saint-Germain
3
1
FT
Game Details
Minnesota United FC
LAFC
5
1
FT
Game Details
Toluca
Morelia
2
0
FT
Game Details
Santos
Lobos BUAP
2
1
FT
Game Details
Necaxa
América
2
1
FT
Game Details
Beijing Guoan
Tianjin Quanjian
3
2
FT
Game Details
Guangzhou R&F
Guizhou Hengfeng FC
1
1
FT
Game Details
Hebei China Fortune FC
Jiangsu Suning
0
0
FT
Game Details
Henan Jianye
Shanghai Shenhua
2
2
FT
Game Details
Italy U19
Norway U19
1
1
FT
Game Details
Portugal U19
Finland U19
3
0
FT
Game Details
Next

Griezmann wants World Cup ring for France squad

The Toe Poke
Read

Deschamps praises Pogba's mental strength

FIFA World Cup
Read

Mbappe better than Henry was - Deschamps

FIFA World Cup
Read
ESPN FC  By ESPN

Vladimir Putin treating World Cup like Hitler's Olympics - Boris Johnson

U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson says Britain may not participate normally in the World Cup if Russia is proven to be behind the unexplained illness of a former spy.
With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it is sickening to think of President Vladimir Putin glorifying in Russia hosting the World Cup and agreed there are comparisons with Adolf Hitler's use of the 1936 Olympics as a propaganda vehicle for his regime.

After the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Britain said it would not send royals or government ministers to the tournament, though the England team will compete.

Speaking to Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Johnson agreed with a Labour politician who likened the event to the way Hitler used the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

"I think the comparison with 1936 is certainly right," Johnson said. "I think it's an emetic prospect, frankly, to think of Putin glorying in this sporting event."

In reply, Russia denounced Johnson as unprofessional. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Johnson is "poisoned with venom of hate, unprofessionalism and boorishness," adding that "it's scary to remember that this person represents the political leadership of a nuclear power."

She said on Facebook that Johnson's statements were "unacceptable, unworthy of a top European diplomat," adding that it reflected London's efforts to cast Russia as an enemy using the most absurd reasons in order to boycott the World Cup.

Johnson also issued a warning to Russia that it has a duty to ensure England fans travelling to the World Cup are properly protected and said he was "deeply concerned" as to how they would be treated.

While the Foreign Office has so far stopped short of advising fans not to go to the tournament starting in June, he said they were monitoring the situation "very, very closely."

"It is up to the Russians to guarantee the safety of England fans going to Russia. It is their duty under their FIFA contract to look after our fans," he said.

"We are watching it very, very closely. At the moment we are not inclined actively to dissuade people from going because we want to hear from the Russians what steps they are going to take to look after our fans.

Even before events in Salisbury, there were concerns that England fans could be targeted by violent Russian hooligan gangs.

Johnson said the UK authorities had been cooperating with Russians at a "policing level" but there were now questions as to how that would continue.

He said that so far there had been 24,000 applications from England fans to attend the World Cup, well down on the 94,000 applications at the same stage of the Rio World Cup in 2014.

"The numbers are well down but that does not mean we are not deeply concerned about how they may be treated," he said. "My challenge to the Russian authorities is to show how the 24,000 UK applicants for tickets to the football World Cup are going to be well treated, are going to be safe."

Information from the Associatied Press and Press Association was used in this report.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.