MPs slam Mourinho's Russian channel 'blood money'

On Wednesday night Federation Internationale de Football Association were asked to offer their view on the political situation between the World Cup hosts and one of the nations participating in their tournament, but remained confident that England would travel to Russia this summer.

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

Yesterday, British Prime Minister Theresa May had told parliament that Russia was "culpable" for the attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daugher Yulia, which took place in the Wiltshire city 11 days ago.

In a statement given to Press Association Sport, Rhondda MP Chris Bryant said: "To my mind, this is blood money, paid directly from the Russian state coffers".

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.

Former Scottish National Party leader Salmond faced similar criticism when he became a presenter for RT previous year.

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

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Prime Minister Theresa May says it is "highly likely" Russian Federation is responsible.

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

WILL anyone notice if England boycotts the World Cup in Russian Federation? it would be much better if genuine contenders, like Germany, did so, but they won't.

Bryant has previously called for RT's "propaganda" to be banned in the UK.

And National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "Sports journalists want to report on the World Cup and should not be prevented from doing their work due to the ongoing crisis of diplomatic and political relations between the two countries".

Mourinho's United are at home to Spanish club Sevilla in a Champions League tie at Old Trafford later Tuesday.

  • Lawrence Cooper