New survey claims nearly half of England fans want World Cup boycott

The FA has moved to calm fears over England’s participation in the World Cup after comments from Boris Johnson
Image: No British ministers or royalty will attend the World Cup

Nearly half of England football fans want the national team to boycott the World Cup in Russia, a new survey has claimed.

England's participation in the tournament has been questioned following the alleged poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

According to Forza Football, a live score app that collates fan opinion, 48 per cent of 1,000 England fans stated that they believed a boycott was the right decision.

Fifty-two per cent of supporters surveyed said they still want the team to attend.

England are in Group G with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia and boss Gareth Southgate says the heightened political tensions between the United Kingdom and Russia will not affect his preparations for the World Cup.

"Clearly it is a really serious matter and developing very quickly. My job as the England football manager is to concentrate on football and prepare the team," Southgate said.

"As far as all my briefings and information is, we're preparing to go to the World Cup. There is no doubt in my mind that is what we should be doing.

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"The highest importance is the safety and security of our players and absolutely our travelling supporters. They're the things we're focused on."

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has claimed it was "overwhelmingly likely" Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the nerve agent attack.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow has "stopped paying attention" to the poisoning claims and Russia denies wrongdoing.

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