April 4 – Russia’s chief World Cup figurehead says the subway blast in St Petersburg that killed 11 people should not be used by the country’s critics to call into question next year’s finals or the confederations cup this coming summer.
St Petersburg is one of Russia’s main World Cup stadiums and one of four being used for the Confederations Cup, the traditional dress rehearsal.
But Vitaly Mutko, who is also Russia’s deputy prime minister, says Monday’s blast, which is being treated as a terrorist attack, should in no way deflect from ongoing preparations.
“Terrorism has no borders, this is an international tragedy and global efforts should be united to fight it,” said Mutko, quoted by Tass.
The tragedy, he added, should be “in no way used to cast the shadow over the country’s preparations for hosting global sports events.”
“I do not think that attempts to discredit our country in this regard would have any success,” he stated. “All our partners, international sports organisations and all countries well know that Russia had been and will always be setting the highest possible standards in the fight against terrorism.”
“It will be beyond the levels of humane understanding in case somebody in the world tries to make use of this tragedy for the sake of political interest.”
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