Russia should be stripped of hosting this season's UEFA Champions League final, Boris Johnson has said after President Vladimir Putin ordered "peacekeeping" troops into eastern Ukraine.
St Petersburg is due to host the match in May, but Mr Johnson told MPs its "inconceivable" that it could take place in Russia "after the invasion of a sovereign country".
English clubs Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool are in the last 16 of the competition. The prime minister's comments came hours after Russia's President Putin recognised the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in eastern Ukraine, as independent states.
Mr Putin then ordered "peacekeeping" forces into the regions, with Mr Johnson since confirming that Russian tanks and armed personnel carriers have “been spotted” in the breakaway regions.
Mr Johnson, speaking after announcing new sanctions on Russian banks and wealthy individuals, told the House of Commons: “It’s absolutely vital in this critical moment that President Putin understands that what he is doing is going to be a disaster for Russia. “And it is clear from the response of the world to what he has done already in Donbas that he is going to end up with a Russia that is poorer as a result of the sanctions that the world will implement."
He continued: “A Russia that is more isolated, a Russia that has pariah status – no chance of holding football tournaments in a Russia that invades sovereign countries. "
Asked by Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey whether he will push for Russia to be stripped of the final, Mr Johnson said: "I think it inconceivable that major international football tournaments can take place in Russia after the invasion of a sovereign country."
Following Mr Johnson's comments, UEFA released a brief statement, reading: “UEFA is constantly and closely monitoring the situation and any decision would be made in due course if necessary. UEFA has no further comments to make at present.”
Dan Rivers reports from the village of Shchastya close to the line of contact in the Luhansk region where a power station has been hit, leaving locals without energy
Culture secretary Nadine Dorries had also weighed in on the matter, tweeting she had “serious concerns" about Russian hosting the match, and that she will discuss her worries "with the relevant governing bodies”.
Meanwhile, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan suggested his city, "the sporting capital of the world", could replace St Petersburg as final hosts. However, London's Wembley Stadium is due to host the League Two and Championship play-off finals on May 28-29.
Alongside politicians, figures from the footballing world also expressed concerns over the final. Manchester United interim manager Ralph Rangnick, who was director of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow until joining United in November, said: “It’s still a long way until the final. .. what would happen then, this is something for UEFA and maybe even for some politicians to decide upon. “Nobody could really be interested in a sort of war within Europe. This is more important, actually, than a Champions League game, if we’re honest.”
The Polish football association said on Tuesday it had been in touch with Fifa to "urgently clarify the issues" around their national team's World Cup qualifier with Russia on March 24.
Russia are due to host Poland and – if they win – would entertain Sweden or Czech Republic five days later.
In its statement, Poland's FA cited “potential threats related to the current situation” as its key concern.
The sporting debates come as the UK hits five Russian banks and three "very high net wealth" individuals with sanctions. The prime minister hopes the sanctions can dissuade President Putin from launching a "full-scale invasion" of Ukraine, but said more measures are being held "at readiness" should the situation in eastern Europe escalate further. The banks being sanctioned are Rossiya Bank, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank, and the Black Sea Bank. The individuals, who will have their UK assets frozen and be banned from entering the country, are Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg, and Igor Rotenberg. "This the first tranche, the first barrage of what we are prepared to do and we hold further sanctions at readiness to be deployed," the PM warned.