British officials compare Russia World Cup to Hitler's Olympics

British officials compare Russia World Cup to Hitler's Olympics

British officials compare Russia World Cup to Hitler's Olympics

"Putin intends to use it just as Hitler used the Olympics 1936", Austin said.

On Wednesday, Austin said that the idea of Putin using the World Cup as "a PR exercise to gloss over the brutal, corrupt regime for which he is responsible" filled him with horror.

He also questioned how England fans could be safe, particularly given the expulsion of British diplomats.

"Your characterisation of what is going to happen in Moscow in the World Cup, in all the venues, yes, I think the comparison with 1936 is certainly right", remarked the Foreign Secretary. "I think it's an emetic prospect, frankly, to think of Putin glorying in this sporting event".

Johnson's comments come a week after British Prime Minister Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom after accusing Russia of orchestrating an attack on a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England.

"You can't imagine anything more counter-productive to the UK's ability to help fans in Russian Federation, so there is an issue", said Johnson.

At a meeting of the British Parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Boris Johnson spoke about the possibility of the English team boycotting the World Cup.

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Johnson's remarks drew anger in Moscow, where Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson, said in a statement: "There isn't the slightest doubt now that all of London's actions in terms of Russian Federation are aimed at creating an image of an enemy". The diplomat responsible for their protection is among 23 due to be expelled by Saturday.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May also announced last week that members of the government and royal family will not be attending the World Cup.

The Foreign Office has so far stopped short of advising fans not to go to the tournament, but they were monitoring the situation "very, very closely".

Even before events in Salisbury, there were concerns that England fans could be targeted by violent Russian hooligan gangs.

However, he insists it would be unfair on the England football team to cancel their attendance.

Reiterating that Russian Federation had no involvement in the incident, he claimed that Britain had a "bad record of violating global law and misleading" the worldwide community, and mentioned "invading Yugoslavia (which was bombarded for 78 days), Iraq and Libya under false pretexts, and supporting the coup d'état in Ukraine".

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