Former Sports Minister Richard Caborn says it would be an empty gesture to boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
European Union officials are reportedly considering calling for a boycott of the tournament as a protest against Russian actions in Ukraine.
Caborn highlighted the 1980 Moscow Olympics when the United States were absent but a British team competed.
"You'll end up having the world split down the middle, and that is the worst of all worlds," said the 70-year-old.
"No one condones what is going on in Ukraine but it would be merely empty-gesture politics from those that did boycott the World Cup."
Caborn, minister for sport between 2001 and 2007, was a leading voice in the sporting boycott of South Africa during apartheid but believes similar action against Russia would be ineffective.
"Politicians often think they can institute a boycott but that can end up as being a show of weakness, not of strength," he added.
"The sporting boycott of South Africa worked because there was a total consensus between sports and politicians - but there is not over Russia."
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said that the world governing body will not move the 2018 World Cup.
|Sporting boycott of apartheid in South Africa|
|Suspended from Fifa in 1963|
|South Africa did not compete at the Olympic Games between 1964 and 1988 and were expelled by the International Olympic Committee in 1970|
|England cricket tour in 1968 was called off after SA refused to admit mixed race all-rounder Basil D'Oliveira into the country|
|Rugby Union tours to SA continued into the 1980s but they were barred from the 1987 and 1991 World Cups|