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Expulsion of ‘spy’ is World Cup revenge, says paper

world Updated: Dec 07, 2010 00:25 IST

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A Russian woman working in the British parliament who faces deportation on suspicion of espionage has been targeted as revenge for England's failure to land the 2018 World Cup, a paper alleged Monday.

Katia Zatuliveter faces deportation after being detained in London on Thursday in what is thought to be the first time since the end of the Cold War someone working in Britain's parliament has been accused of spying for Russia.

"If the English had not received a slap in the face in the elections for the 2018 World Cup, there would have been no spy scandal," commented the mass circulation and staunchly pro-government Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

“The proof is zero, otherwise a court, rather than deportation would have awaited the Russian girl. All this looks like a petty act of revenge on Russia," it added.

England's bid for the 2018 World Cup, awarded to Russia on Thursday, ended in humiliation after it won just two of 22 FIFA executive committee votes leaving many questioning the voting process.

The pro-Kremlin Moskovsky Komsomolets daily described Zatuliveter, 25, as a "sex bomb" and compared her to the glamorous Anna Chapman who was expelled from the United States along with nine other Russian "sleeper" spies this summer. "It seems the British were offended that Anna Chapman was working in the United States and not in Britain," it wrote.