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.
April 9 – Russian Railways has become an official sponsor of the 2018 Russia World Cup, taking a third-tier regional association alongside Alfa-Bank and Rostelcom.
April 3 – Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has accused the UK and US of using the poisoning scandal to try and take the World Cup away from her country.
March 29 – The fear of racism rearing its ugly head at the World Cup in Russia has intensified following alleged abuse directed at French players by Russian fans during a high-profile friendly this week.
By Mark Baber
March 27 – Concerns the fall-out from the Skripal poisoning affair could spill over into the World Cup increased on Monday as Iceland announced its leaders would follow the UK’s lead in boycotting the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
By Samindra Kunti in Moscow
Moscow – The Luzhniki Stadium, Russia’s flagship venue for this summer’s World Cup, has staged a successful second test-run, a much-anticipated friendly between Russia and Brazil. The stadium will host the opening game and the final of the World Cup.
March 23 – England manager Gareth Southgate says he has “no concerns” about security and safety at the World Cup in Russia despite the escalating diplomatic spat between London and Moscow over the poisoning of a former double agent on british soil.
March 22 – The diplomatic spat between Britain and Russia over the poisoning of a former double agent on British soil has plummeted to new depths after British foreign secretary Boris Johnson claimed Vladimir Putin will use this summer’s World Cup to glorify Russia in the same way Adolf Hitler used Berlin’s hosting of the summer games in 1936 as propaganda for the Nazi regime.
By Andrew Warshaw
March 21 – European governments are lining up behind Britain in considering a diplomatic snub of the World Cup in protest at the poisoning of a former double agent and his daughter on British soil that is being widely blamed on Russia.
March 15 – No British government ministers or members of the Royal Family will attend the World Cup finals in Russia this summer as part of the retaliation for the poisoning and attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced.
By Paul Nicholson
March 14 – It was good news and bad news from FIFA as the final round of ticketing for the Russia 2018 World Cup began. While 356,700 tickets were allocated in 24 hours, complaints poured in from fans unable to access the system.
March 14 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be taking “blood money” by working for Russian state-backed channel RT during the World Cup, according to a British member of parliament.
March 13 – When British foreign secretary Boris Johnson first raised the notion of England boycotting this summer’s World Cup in protest at what has been dubbed spy-gate, he was roundly condemned and his office was quick to issue a clarification saying he meant officials and politicians rather than the team itself.
March 13 – FIFA have confirmed that 568,448 tickets have been allocated following the second random selection draw sales window from 5 December to 31 January, on top of the 735,168 tickets allocated during the first sales phase, making a total of 1,303,616 tickets allocated to date.
March 8 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be a pundit for Russia Today (RT) during this summer’s World Cup. The international broadcast network is funded by the Kremlin and often perceived as a controversial mouthpiece of Vladimir Putin’s regime.