Disagreements between Western countries and Russia shouldn't affect sports and overshadow the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Dr. Edmund Stoiber, a member of the supervisory board at FC Bayern Munich, said, adding that the competition is a special event for all football fans worldwide and for him, personally.
"Well, many countries have disagreements with Russia and certain claims to it. But I'm primarily interested in what will happen at the stadium and how exciting this championship will be," Bavaria's former head told Sputnik Germany.
Commenting on the recent decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to suspend the Russian National Olympic Committee over "systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system and allow clean Russian athletes to compete in the 2018 Games only under the Olympic Flag, Stoiber argued that the alleged doping violations must be thoroughly investigated.
"However, it is wrong if these accusations are in the foreground and overshadow the World Cup to such an extent, that it has negative impact on the football itself," Stoiber said.
"This does not mean that I want to keep silent about any shortcomings. But this is a global event, and it is taking place in Russia, and Russia will be a good host," Stoiber concluded.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be held in 11 Russian cities, from June 14 to July 15, 2018. This will be the first World Cup to take place in Europe since 2006.
The views and opinions expressed by Dr. Edmund Stoiber are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.