FIFA Gives Full Backing To Russia’s World Cup
FIFA has passed a resolution giving Russia its full backing for the 2018 World Cup, its outgoing President Sepp Blatter has said.
Blatter made his announcement during a speech introducing the draw for the preliminary rounds ahead of the next competition.
It follows criticism that Russia was chosen to host the World Cup amid allegations of corruption within the world football body.
Talking on stage before the draw began, shortly after a few words from Vladimir Putin, Mr Blatter said: “I would like to inform you that the executive committee has recently adopted a new resolution in which FIFA assures the Russian Federation of its full support in carrying out the World Cup in Russia in 2018.”
Blatter has promised to quit after several FIFA executives were arrested during the body’s conference in Zurich following requests from US authorities.
A separate probe has been launched by Swiss officials plunging the organisation into its worst crisis in history.
Accusations of money laundering and other corruption offences have opened the way for an investigation into the bidding processes for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, leading to media speculation that Russia and Qatar could be stripped of hosting the finals and a new vote ordered.
Russian officials have dismissed any suggestion Russia could be stripped of the contest.
Putin made a vague reference to the crisis at FIFA but his comments were cautious in comparison with some he has previously made defending Mr Blatter and his organisation.
The chief executive of the 2018 Russian World Cup organising committee Alexei Sorokin told the BBC that Blatter had “always been a friend of our country”.
He described the president as “a victim” and “a very brave person” adding “we are certain everything he’s doing is for the good of FIFA to which he has dedicated his life.” – SkyNews