Mourinho accused of taking "blood money"

THERE have been calls for the England football team to be withdrawn from the World Cup in Russia if it is found that Russians are responsible for the appalling attempt to murder the former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Bryant said: "To my mind, this is blood money, paid directly from the Russian state coffers".

Mourinho has refused to answer questions on his involvement with the channel - formerly known as Russia Today - since last week's poisoning.

The ministry said that it had "repeatedly warned that Western media would launch a full-scale media campaign to discredit Russian Federation and undermine its credibility as the host" of the World Cup.

The channel is seen by its critics as giving a platform to conspiracy theorists as well as far-right or anti-establishment figures who emphasise Western hypocrisy or corruption.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday that it was "highly likely" that Russian Federation was behind the attack and promised "extensive measures" against the country if an explanation was not provided.

Former top-flight stars Stan Collymore and Peter Schmeichel also work for RT, as do politicians George Galloway and Alex Salmond.

Bryant's message was backed by fellow Welsh Labour MP Stephen Doughty.

The Football Association has declined to comment on what the UK's worsening relationship with Russian Federation might mean for the World Cup but is understood to believe it should not impact England's plans to compete in the tournament.

Forza Football, a live score app, asked 1,000 of its users during Wednesday's Barcelona-Chelsea game if "England should boycott?"

Earlier, British broadcasting regulator Ofcom announced: "We have today written to ANO TV Novosti, holder of RT's United Kingdom broadcast licences, which is financed from the budget of the Russian Federation". So now they want to "punish" us with a World Cup boycott.

Moscow responded with a threat to bar all British media working in Russian Federation if RT was banned from Britain.

  • Stacy Allen