Jose Mourinho’s decision to work as a World Cup pundit for Kremlin-backed television channel RT has been strongly criticised by English MPs following the Salisbury poisoning attack, Irish Times reports.
The Russian channel announced Mourinho as its main pundit for Russia 2018 a day after the incident in Salisbury, but the Manchester United manager has repeatedly refused to answer any questions about the role.
In a statement, Rhondda MP Chris Bryant said, “To my mind, this is blood money, paid directly from the Russian state coffers.”
RT, formerly known as Russia Today, has recently been attacked by politicians in France and the United States for pumping out propaganda in support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and on Monday in parliament several MPs called for its UK broadcasting licence to be withdrawn.
While he is probably the best paid, Mourinho is not the only high-profile football figure associated with the controversial channel, as former players Stan Collymore and Peter Schmeichel also work for RT, as do several politicians, including George Galloway and Alex Salmond.
The English Football Association has declined to comment on what the UK’s worsening relationship with Russia might mean for the World Cup but is understood to believe it should not impact England’s plans to compete in the tournament.