Slovakia's national football team is ready to replace their English counterparts in case the UK boycotts the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, team's defender Jan Durica said.
"Is Slovakia ready to replace England? Yes. Why not? If such chance appears, I think not only we, but any other team would answer positively to this question. No one would even pause to think about it. One can recall the story with Denmark, which replaced Yugoslavia at the European Championship in 1992 and, by the way, won the tournament," Dyuritsa said as quoted by the Russian newspaper Sport-Express.
On March 14, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK over the poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, stressing that London will suspend all high-level contacts with diplomatic officials from Moscow, including during the upcoming World Cup in Russia.
The report came after remarks by the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who said high-ranking UK officials could boycott the football tournament in Russia.
The Telegraph newspaper assumed that in case of the boycott, the English team could face a ban from the next football cup in 2022 and cited FIFA's regulations ruling that all participating teams are required to play all of their matches until eliminated from the tournament.