There are few instruments of peacekeeping as effective as the English football team, what with their decades-long proclivity for landing on foreign shores and meekly surrendering within a fortnight of their arrival.
With diplomatic relations between England and Russia at an all-time low following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal earlier this month. With the World Cup on the horizon, buffoonery's
Boorish Boris Johnson claimed that England should boycott the World Cup in protest, seemingly unaware that the players are almost certainly going to do so once the competition reaches the knockout stages. (Sorry, too easy).
Eventually, it was decided that the royal family and all other English politicians and dignitaries would not bother showing up at Russia, with Foreign Secretary Johnson yesterday aligning the World Cup with the 1936 Olympic Games, used by Hitler as propaganda for Nazi Germany.
I think that your characterisation of what is going to happen in Moscow, the World Cup, in all the venues – yes, I think the comparison with 1936 is certainly right. It is an emetic prospect of Putin glorying in this sporting event.
These comments have been deemed "unacceptable" by the Russian ambassador to the UK.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain yesterday, Secretary for Sport Matt Hancock refused to criticise Johnson for his comments, and instead propounded his view that the best diplomatic response to Putin and Russia is to win the World Cup.
Frankly the best response to all of this would be for England to go to the World Cup in Russia and win it.
That may be the least effective international response since Lichtenstein went to war in 1866 and returned with an extra solider, having made a friend on their travels.
Gareth Southgate had to deal with questions about Boris Johnson at his press conference yesterday, and he batted them away with admirable - and incongruous - diplomacy.
I think the rest of the world are viewing it that way [when asked if the World Cup would be a 'festival of football'].
It's of little interest to me what the foreign secretary thinks about it. I was in Russia last year for the Confederations Cup and there were about 15,000 fans from Chile.
There was an incredible atmosphere in the stadiums. It felt like the other World Cups I'd been to.
Southgate's full comments are worth reading on the BBC's website, particularly his response when asked about racism in Russian football.