Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the government is not considering a boycott of the World Cup as part of the ongoing response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom, after earlier suggesting the football tournament could form part of Australia's response.
In response to questioning on Tuesday, and following the expulsion of two Russian diplomats, Ms Bishop said a further escalation of diplomatic action was possible.
"There are a whole range of options of further actions that could be taken. The World Cup is one of the further actions," she said.
But in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, Ms Bishop responded to media reports saying that the government was considering a boycott: "That is wrong - the government is not considering a boycott of the World Cup."
A major British newspaper reported the Australian government may join the UK in a "state boycott" of the event, where no political leaders travel to Russia.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced no ministers or royal family members will attend official events, including the opening ceremony, at the tournament.
Iceland, which will compete for the first time at the global showpiece after its surprise qualification, has followed suit.
A report from London newspaper The Sun suggests Australia is one of a number of countries that are likely to join this action.
Two Russian diplomats accused of acting as foreign spies were instructed to leave Australia within seven days, as part of the global diplomatic response to the recent nerve agent attack on a double agent living in Britain, which Western nations have blamed on Russia.
Clarification on Ms Bishop's comments is being sought from the foreign minister's office and Football Federation Australia.
Ange Postecoglou's side needed 22 matches in 12 different countries to finally seal a place in Russia.
Now under Bert van Marwijk's tenure, the Socceroos are in action on Wednesday morning (AEDT) in a friendly match against Colombia in London.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.