08:08 GMT28 November 2020
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    Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that Russia did not engage in collusion during the bidding process to win the right to host the FIFA World Cup 2018.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Russia did not engage in collusion during the bidding process to win the right to host the FIFA World Cup 2018, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Friday.

    Earlier in the day, the Financial Times published an interview with FIFA President Joseph Blatter in which he revealed the existence of a “gentleman’s agreement” among FIFA leaders, according to which Russia and the United States — “two superpowers” – would hold consecutive World Cups in 2018 and 2022. The arrangement was reportedly foiled after UEFA President Michel Platini voted for Qatar, under pressure from then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    “I tell you on record, there was no collusion," Mutko said adding that controversy surrounding the statements made by Blatter in his interview should be attributed to “inaccurate wording, inaccurate questions.”

    Mutko observed that those who suspect conspiracy in the win by Russian for the bid, “when it is advantageous, they say that Russia has friends everywhere, when it is not, they say that we have no friends except for Iran and Syria,” suggesting that the only goal of the accusations is to blame Russia.

    "I conspired only with myself and got one vote out of it,” Mutko stressed.

    The 2018 FIFA World Cup, awarded to Russia in 2010, will be held from June 14 to July 15 in 11 Russian cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.


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