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    Kremlin Against Politicization of Football - Putin Spokesman

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    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he knows of not a single country that would decide to boycott the World Cup in Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Kremlin is against the politicization of football and knows of no country that intends to boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

    "First of all, all politicians and countries with common sense, naturally, are against the politicization of football, of this favorite sport in the world, the most popular sport in the world. Secondly, I know of not a single country that would decide to boycott the World Cup in Russia," Peskov told journalists.

    Last week, media reports emerged suggesting that Qatar, the host country of the 2022 World Cup, had been asked by FIFA to speed up its preparations for the event. The football authority has reportedly examined the possibility of Qatar hosting the 2018 competition instead of Russia, if the situation in Ukraine worsened and Russia was stripped of its hosting rights.

    On June 8, FIFA said there were "no legal grounds" to revoke Russia's or Qatar's hosting duties.

    On June 11, a source in the FIFA press service told R-Sport that the information about Russia potentially losing the right to host the World Cup was false.

    The speculation about the 2018 championship’s fate came in the wake of the FIFA corruption scandal, after seven high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested in May. Amid arrests, Switzerland launched an investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids from Russia and Qatar.

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    2018 FIFA World Cup, Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, Russia
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