FIFA president Gianni Infantino has stated there will be no reconsideration of the 2018 World Cup slated for Russia despite allegations of malpractices in the bidding process.
Amid concerns of human rights issues and allegations of widespread doping in Russian sports, the FIFA boss has assured that the tournament will go ahead as scheduled. He said FIFA will make sure it is the “best World Cup ever”.
“The World Cup 2018 will take place in Russia of course,” Infantino said on his first visit to the country since replacing Sepp Blatter in February.
“This decision has been taken six years ago almost.
“It is now my job as FIFA president, together with [Russian Sports] Minister [Vitaly] Mutko and all the Russian population actually to make sure we deliver the best World Cup ever here in Russia.”
The former UEFA general secretary also took the opportunity to further distance himself from the ‘Panama Papers’ scandal, maintaining his earlier stand that everything was carried out “legally”.
“I think it has already been clarified quite clearly that this story about these Panama papers was absolutely a non-story because everything was done completely legally, properly, transparently, openly, and this has already been said,” he said.
“Actually, some journalists have already apologised to me, so I would like to thank those journalists for apologising to me for having written things which were a little bit exaggerated, so I don’t think at all that this will have any impact on what I’m doing.”
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