Grit in the Machine: UK NGO Launches Bid to Break Up 2018 World Cup in Russia

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev /  / Go to the mediabankThe 2018 FIFA World Cup stand ahead of the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). (File)
The 2018 FIFA World Cup stand ahead of the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). (File) - Sputnik International
A group of British campaigners didn't think twice before using Moscow's alleged involvement in the Skripal case as a pretext for scrapping the 2010 decision on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"The World Cup is the stage for the likes of Ronaldo, Salah and Messi's sublime skill — why are we allowing it be used to make [Russian President Vladimir] Putin look successful?"  Sashy Nathan, representative of the British non-government organization 89Up said.

He referred to FIFA President Joseph Blatter's announcement in 2010 about the 2018 World Cup taking place in Russia, something that Nathan claimed was followed by a series of alleged violations of international law by Moscow, including the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain on March 4.

READ MORE: Russia Expects High Number of UK Tourists to Attend 2018 FIFA World Cup

Nathan's remarks came as a crowd funding appeal has been launched on GoFundMe by the group 89Up, in a bid to prevent Russia from hosting this year's World Cup.

The crowd funding's goal is "to draw up a legal dossier on why, under current laws and FIFA and UEFA rules, Russia is no longer fit to be a host nation of the world's biggest sporting event," according to the UK's Mirror newspaper.

Commenting on the diplomatic boycott of the upcoming World Cup earlier this week, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, for his part, stressed that "there are no plans to boycott the World Cup, there is no desire to punish English fans."

READ MORE: Anti-World Cup 2018 NGO Spread Propaganda Demonizing Russia, Syria — Journalist

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Meanwhile, the US-based cyber activist organization Avaaz, which is reportedly sponsored by the Soros Fund, has been calling for the boycott of the 2018 FIFA World Cup unless Russia stops its anti-terrorist operations in Syria.

Russia has repeatedly denied allegations about its involvement in the Skripals' poisoning, pledging to respond in kind to the recent expulsions of more than 100 Russian diplomats from about 20 European countries as well as the US and several other UK allies.

The FIFA World Cup is due to be held in Russia between June 14 and July 15. The games will be played in Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg.

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