Iceland to diplomatically boycott 2018 World Cup in Russia

REYKJAVIK – Iceland has announced it will be boycotting the World Cup this summer.

The decision comes after the U.S. and E.U. countries announced the expulsion of diplomats over the Sergei Skripal poisoning in U.K.

Iceland also said it is temporarily suspending its bilateral contacts with Russia at the highest level. Reykjavik had summoned the Russian Ambassador earlier on Monday and informed him of the measures implemented.

“All of Iceland’s closest allies and partners have decided to take measures against Russia in the wake of the Salisbury attack, including the Nordic countries, most member states of NATO as well as several EU nations,” the statement, published on the website of Iceland’s government, reads.

“Among the measures taken by Iceland is the temporary postponement of all high-level bilateral dialogue with Russian authorities. Consequently, Icelandic leaders will not attend the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.”

USA, Canada and Britain’s EU allies expel Russian diplomats over ex-spy poisoning

The 21st FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Russia from June 14 to July 15. Russia won hosting rights to the event in December 2010.

The games will take place in Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg.

Twenty-six countries including Germany and Canada have expelled Russian envoys in the past two days, in solidarity with the U.K.

Western countries have blamed Moscow of the March 4 poisoning of the former double agent in Salisbury, U.K.

Russia has denied having any part in the attack and has offered its full cooperation in the investigation.