Update @ 3.30pm: After earlier leaving the door open to a potential boycott of the World Cup in Russia, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop now says it’s not being considered.
The Foreign Minister was asked about a possible boycott of the tournament during a media conference about the expulsion of two Russian diplomats.
She responded saying the World Cup was one of the further actions that could be taken in relation to the Russian spy scandal.
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But in a tweet this afternoon, Ms Bishop has now ruled it out.
— Julie Bishop (@JulieBishopMP) March 27, 2018
Earlier: The Federal Government is not ruling out Australia boycotting the FIFA World Cup in Russia as the fallout from the poisoning a former Russian spy in the UK continues.
Australia has joined other nations by expelling two Russian diplomats who were found to be ‘undeclared intelligence agents’.
The pair has been given seven days to leave Australia.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says they will consider further actions, including the possibility of Australia not taking part in the World Cup.
“There are a whole range of options of further actions that could be taken. The World Cup is one of the further actions that could be taken in relation to this matter,” Ms Bishop told reporters.
But a complete Socceroos boycott of the tournament appears unlikely as Australia would likely be expelled and sanctioned by FIFA.
Experts believe Australia is more likely to follow the UK’s lead by not sending any Government Ministers to the tournament.
Football Federation Australia says it respects the Government’s responsibility to make decisions about diplomatic and international relations and is seeking clarification about the Foreign Minister’s comments.
But for now, it’s business as usual.
“As things stand all qualifying teams, including the England team, will be taking part in this FIFA event and that continues to be our intention,” a spokesperson for the FFA said.