UEFA president Michel Platini said Wednesday he supports the probe into alleged corruption during the selection procedure for the venues of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
"I would condemn any possible attempt to derail the investigation and I want the process to continue to the very end," Platini said.
The comments come after UK media reported members of FIFA's executive committee tried to undermine the probe by removing the head of the investigatory chamber of FIFA's ethics committee, Michael Garcia, who is leading the inquiry.
The investigation was launched after the London-based Daily Telegraph alleged former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner was personally paid $1.2 million by a company controlled by a retired Qatari football official just after Qatar won its 2022 bid to host the World Cup.
The votes on the venues for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments were held at the same time in December 2010, with Russia winning the earlier slot, beating bids from England; Spain and Portugal; and Belgium and the Netherlands. The 2018 World Cup would be the first for Russia as host.
The country has already begun constructing modern sports facilities and supporting infrastructure for the event. Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said construction costs are expected to top $17 billion, with private investors covering half of that figure.
Matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are to be held in 11 Russian cities, and all of the stadiums are either being built from scratch or undergoing major renovation. Alexei Sorokin, the chief organizer of the event, has promised the arenas will be completed nearly a year ahead of the first kick-off.
"There is no doubt that by autumn of 2017 we will come out with all the stadiums totally prepared," Sorokin said.
The stadiums are scheduled to be delivered months in advance unlike in Brazil, where organizers are struggling to build everything in time for the opening match in June.