By Andrew Warshaw
February 9 – The boss of Norwegian football has allegedly been reported to FIFA’s ethics committee for remarks he made about Russia being thrown out because of the ongoing doping scandal.
Last month, Terje Svendsen said in an interview he was not convinced FIFA was acting fast enough amid reports that 34 Russian national team players may have been involved. He said he was concerned that FIFA lacked the will to press ahead with its inquiries until after the World Cup.
“If football in Russia has been part of a government-controlled doping system then exclusion should be considered in the same way as for other sports,” said Svendsen.
Russia’s Football Union (RFU) immediately hit back with acting RFU head Alexander Alayev telling TASS that he was discussing the possibility of filing a complaint.
That now appears to be the case. “I regret that our Norwegian colleagues made such absurd statements and did not even attempt to enter into a civilized dialogue,” said Alajev in a new statement. “We cannot allow one individual to throw such a shadow on Russian football. Therefore, we have reported the matter to the FIFA Ethics Committee.
“Fair play is not just about the behaviour of the players on the pitch. Fair play is sport without politics, without discrimination. First and foremost, Fair Play is about respect for each other.”
Meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with Gianni Infantino in Sochi on Monday over World Cup preparations which seem more than likely to include the ongoing doping scandal though that has not, of course, been made public.
Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told news agency TASS: “They will meet on February 12. As I understand it, there will be two visits by Infantino this month as well as closer to the start of the World Cup.”
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