European nations have discussed hitting Russia with sporting sanctions including a boycott of Vladimir Putin’s 2018 football World Cup. The measures are meant as a penalty for the country’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

Moscow could also face suspension from Formula One races and other major sporting events, under long-term plans circulated among European diplomats alongside proposals for immediate economic sanctions.

On Saturday, leaders of the 28-nation EU asked the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, to draw up new sanctions in response to claims that Russia has sent troops into neighbouring Ukraine. Back in July, German politicians had also considered stripping Russia of the tournament.

One source source told the news agency AFP that the World Cup boycott idea was in a “working document discussed by the member states” detailing options for the economic sanctions, “but as a possibility for later on, not now.” The Spanish newspaper “El Pais” also reported that the World Cup 2018 boycott is on the list of sanctions.

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