Prime Minister Boris Johnson has added his voice to calls for football chiefs Fifa to expel Russia from this year’s men’s World Cup.
Fifa announced a range of sanctions against Russia on Sunday, including ordering them to play home games on neutral ground and under the banner of the Football Union of Russia.
But the sport’s world governing body stopped short of banning any Russian team from international football, despite a number of national associations announcing they would refuse to play against them.
“The Prime Minister wants Fifa to take the strongest possible action on this and doesn’t think their current measures go far enough,” a spokesperson for No10 said. “You can expect our position to be very clear on this issue.”
England’s Football Association is reported to have lobbied Fifa and its European counterpart Uefa over Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
The FA announced on Sunday that it would not agree to play a Russian representative team at any level.
Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, who were due to take part in a play-off with Russia for a World Cup place next month, say they will refuse to play them.
Fifa said on Sunday: “First and foremost, Fifa would like to reiterate its condemnation of the use of force by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. Violence is never a solution and Fifa expresses its deepest solidarity to all people affected by what is happening in Ukraine.
“Fifa calls again for the urgent restoration of peace and for constructive dialogue to commence immediately. Fifa remains in close contact with the Ukrainian Association of Football and members of the Ukrainian football community who have been requesting support to leave the country for as long as the current conflict persists.”