"I think it would be a pity for them", he said. Moscow responded with a reciprocal measure: the same number of employees of the British diplomatic mission were declared as persons non grata, the work of the British Council in Russian Federation was suspended and the Consulate General of the United Kingdom in St. Petersburg was closed.
"It is their duty under their Federation Internationale de Football Association contract to look after our fans".
The timing of an attack using military-grade nerve agent against a former Russian spy in England was probably connected to the weekend election won by President Vladimir Putin, British foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.
"All the facts are being concealed intentionally and the real evidence could (have) vanished".
Russian officials reacted to the growing diplomatic protest with a mixture of indignation and sarcasm.
Johnson said the global soccer tournament - to be held in the summer at locations throughout Russian Federation - will be "a [public relations] exercise" similar to that of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who employed the Berlin Games as a tool for propaganda.
"It has been a mixture of a very firm diplomatic response - the biggest expulsion of undeclared Russian agents since the 1980s - coupled with a series of measures created to push back on Russia in all sorts of ways", he said.
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In reply, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Mr Johnson is "poisoned with venom of hate, unprofessionalism and boorishness", adding that "it's scary to remember that this person represents the political leadership of a nuclear power".
"I remember the old Cold War and it was a pretty miserable time".
"I don't think we face that kind of existential threat, but it is a threat nonetheless and we have to be tough and resolute".
Yermakov earlier said Russian Federation is willing to cooperate with Britain as long as it shares all findings of the probe.
"There is simply no other third option here". Russian Federation denies involvement in the March 4 attack in the English city of Salisbury.
On Saturday, Russia's ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, said Moscow "had nothing to do" with the attack, accusing Johnson of "acting in an inappropriate manner" by pointing the finger at Putin."Russia has stopped production of any chemical agents back in 1992", he told Marr, the day after Moscow expelled 23 British diplomats in a tit-for-tat measure.
He also claimed they chose the United Kingdom for the attack because it has "called out" Russian abuses "time and again".