MP calls for Russia to forfeit World Cup as sanctions vote falls short

Kate McCann
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A CONSERVATIVE MP has called for Russia to be stripped of the right to host the football World Cup in 2018, following the loss of Malaysian airlines flight MH17.

During a select committee hearing yesterday, Tracey Crouch, a Football Association-accredited coach, said Russia should not be allowed to host the tournament as punishment for its involvement in arming pro-Moscow separatist fighters in Ukraine. The rebels are thought to be responsible for firing a Soviet-era missile which hit the plane, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board last week.

“I think Russia ought to be stripped now,” Crouch said yesterday. “There’s so much political uncertainty. Football could be used to put pressure on President Putin to change some of his practices. Russia was seemingly a democratic country when they won the bid. There are now sanctions against the country,” she added.

Yesterday, Europe voted to draw up a new list of Putin’s closest allies, as it prepared to extend economic sanctions. However, the vote did not go as far as Prime Minister David Cameron and his US counterparts, hoped. Both governments have urged France not to go ahead with a €1.2bn (£700m) sale of warships to Russia, with the US saying it was “inappropriate”.

A train carrying around 200 bodies of the victims has arrived in Kharkiv, where the remains will then be flown to the Netherlands.

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