World Cup 2018 chief Mutko temporarily steps down

Photo: Sputnik/Sergey Guneev


Russia Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko will temporarily step down from his role as head of the country’s football federation to appeal against accusations of a state-sponsored doping programme.

In early December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Mutko from the Olympics for life after being accused of having responsibility in the doping programme.

FIFA has thanked Mutko for the decision, Sputnik reported.

“FIFA understands Mr Mutko’s decision which was also taken in the best interest of the FIFA World Cup next summer. FIFA thanks Mr. Mutko for this responsible step and for the work carried out so far for the World Cup,” the press service told the R-Sport news agency.

The organization also announced that the decision would not affect the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“Mr Mutko’s decision will have no impact on the successful staging of the FIFA World Cup next summer, as FIFA, the Russian Government, RFU and the LOC [local organizing committee] continue their fruitful cooperation on the preparations for the FIFA World Cup according to plan. In the coming days, FIFA will discuss with all relevant parties and agree on the next steps related to the LOC,” the press service said.

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