Sweden allows government officials to attend the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after the national team made the playoffs

The Government of Sweden expressed its refusal to boycott the football World Cup held in Russia after the success of its national football team, reports the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

"After the national team made the playoff of the tournament from first place in a group, the Swedish Cabinet of Ministers considered it important to support their soccer players. The cabinet members will be present at team games at the FIFA World Cup,” stated the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Margot Wallström at a press-conference.

As stated by the newspaper, Swedish authorities had been boycotting the FIFA World Cup in support of Great Britain after former Russian Intelligence Directorate officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury. This boycott, as the Foreign Minister of Sweden explained now, was related only to the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Moscow.

 We were consistent when saying that we will boycott the opening [of the World Championship] in solidarity with Great Britain,” Wallström said and noted that Swedish authorities did it together with officials and politicians of other countries. The politician said that Sweden consulted with Great Britain and Denmark regarding such decision.

When asked if the decision was affected by the Swedish National Team making the playoffs, Wallström said, "It is obvious that the question is completely different this way. It is important that we could go [to Russia] and support this great Swedish soccer team.”

At this time, it is not yet clear who will go to the World Cup. The list of high-level officials will be published soon, the minister noted and stressed that there are many people willing to go, namely "the whole Government."Wallström herself confessed to watching the game of the Swedish national team in Copenhagen.

Sweden’s national team earned first place in its group by beating South Korea (1:0) and Mexico (3:0). They had a single loss to the German national team (1:2).

Earlier in March, the British Royal Family and British officials decided not to visit the FIFA World Cup-2018 because of the Skripal incident. Polish President Andrzej Duda decided to do the same. Then the boycott against the Championship was initiated by the officials and the representatives of the Soccer Association of Iceland. 

The FIFA World Cup is being held in Russia from June 14 to July 15. The matches will take place in 11 Russian cities.

  Russia, FIFA World Cup, Skripal, Sweden