Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Will Wills Be Our Moscow Mascot? 22 FRIDAY 6 JULY 2018 EVENING STANDARD @ESTHELONDONER Thelondoner@standard.Co.UK EVENING STANDARD FRIDAY 6 JULY 2018

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Will Wills Be Our Moscow Mascot? 22 FRIDAY 6 JULY 2018 EVENING STANDARD @ESTHELONDONER Thelondoner@standard.Co.UK EVENING STANDARD FRIDAY 6 JULY 2018

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlotte Edwardes

MINISTERS have basked in the reflected glory of Harry Kane (below) and the England team, but will any make the trip to Russia if they make it to the semi-finals for the first time since 1990, or indeed the final for the first time since 1966? Last Thursday, The Londoner has learned, ministers were openly discussing whether to lift the boycott of the World Cup, put in place following the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March. Back then No 10 had announced that royals and ministers would boycott the competition. Australia, Poland, Iceland, Denmark, Japan and Sweden said their ministers would join the UK in a joint snub to Vladimir Putin.

Slowly that diplomatic alliance has crumbled.

This week Sweden too capitulated in advance of the match against England in Samara tomorrow. "We were consistent when we said that we would boycott the opening [games] in solidarity with Britain." Sweden's Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom said, adding that the the Foreign Office was "consulted" in advance. …

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