Russia’s 2018 World Cup bid chief Vitaly Mutko has denied his team would be willing to trade votes to guarantee hosting rights for the event.
Speaking at a press conference in Zurich on Tuesday, Mutko said talk of collusion between FIFA delegates from countries involved in the 2018 and 2022 bids was a black mark on the process.
“Of course we don’t like it when you try to present your bid, then you hear that conditions have been put in place that somebody else must support somebody else’s bid. This is of course not right,” Mutko said.
“We are also following the situation, and of course we know something about this, and of course we don’t support any alliances if they exist.”
“If the entire world knew for sure that such alliances existed, and everyone made concerted efforts, than this wouldn’t be (the idea behind alliances). Of course when some countries made not so much effort to promote their bid and suddenly they become favourites, it may be an unjust situation.”
In response to the BBC’s controversial Panorama documentary, which alleged corruption among FIFA executives, Mutko said he ignored the hype, stating his country’s bid had nothing to hide.
“We tried not to react and not to pay too much attention to it. We have just been working (to promote the bid), that’s all. I know that any programmes, Russian committees can say nothing against our bid because we have worked honestly, openly, tried to explain our arguments, no more than that,” Mutko said.
FIFA will announce the host countries of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Zurich on Thursday.