Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

A few hours later, Ms Bishop tweeted: "That is wrong - the government is not considering a boycott of the World Cup".

Foreign minister Julie Bishop has denied the federal government is considering boycotting the World Cup as western nations take action over Russia's alleged poisoning of a former spy.

It comes after the United States and European Union countries announced the expulsion of diplomats over the Sergei Skripal poisoning case. Iceland later followed suit by, also refusing to send official state representatives to the World Cup, with the Russian envoy to the country Anton Vasilyev saying that Iceland was temporarily suspending its bilateral contacts with Russia "at the highest level".

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 79 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.

"We have sought clarification regarding the Foreign Minister's comments about the World Cup", they said. "That is not the plan".

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After Australia expelled two Russian diplomats on Tuesday, Bishop said that boycotting the June 14-July 15 tournament in Russia was among "a range" of other options available to the government.

However, she later clarified on Twitter that the country was not contemplating boycotting the tournament - one of the biggest sporting events besides the Olympics.

"We will inform everyone if such information is true", Andreeva told journalists in response to a question whether the European Commission planned to boycott the upcoming world football championship in Russian Federation this summer.

Russia is certain to respond to the diplomatic expulsions with measures of its own and anti-Russian rhetoric is only deepening in response to the Skripal affair.

  • Adam Floyd