July 25 – Russian sports minister Vitaly Mukto, barred from attending the Rio Olympics because of the country’s doping scandal, says he sees no reasons why the 2018 World Cup, which he is in charge of organising, should be switched.
Among the many roles Mutko holds is a FIFA Council member and head of both the Russia 2018 local organising committee and the national football federation. But according to Sputnik, Mutko believes says there is no reason to question the staging of the World Cup.
“I don’t see any connection between the current situation . . . and the 2018 championship. I don’t see any reason for it,” he was quoted as saying.
Not everyone agrees that the doping scandal that has engulfed the Rio Olympics as a result of the shocking WADA report into state-sponsored involvement has no bearing on the World Cup.
Some reports suggest Mutko could be stripped of the role of organising the tournament after being implicated in the scandal. FIFA has promised it will take “appropriate measures” when it comes to the football issues. The independent report, by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, ordered by the World Anti-Doping Agency, quotes whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov as claiming it was “inconceivable” Mutko did not know what was going on.
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