April 9 – Fans, especially those from England, should “think twice” before travelling to Russia for the World Cup because consular services will be less effective as a result of the recent diplomatic expulsions following the nerve agent poisoning affair, the White House has warned.
An official in Donald Trump’s regime says anyone planning to attend should understand that support for fans could be more difficult in the present climate.
“If you get into any kind of difficulty there, we just won’t have the wherewithal,” a senior Trump administration official was quoted as saying.
“People have accidents. They get ill, they need to be medevacked out. We’re not suggesting that there are going to be some major sets of incidents but it’s just those larger concerns.”
“We won’t have the same ability to protect our citizens or even just deal with the regular consular affairs,” the official said.
Although England has qualified for the finals and the USA has not, a number of US fans are reportedly likely to attend. But not as many as from Britain.
“For the UK, I think that is a big challenge,” the official said. “The UK is a great sporting nation, it takes its soccer seriously. UK soccer fans show up everywhere. Is your embassy going to be able to provide for them or are they going to have to then outsource some of the regular consular support to others?”
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