As allegations of widespread corruption continue to shake Fifa, Alexei Sorokin, the head of the organising committee for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, has lashed out at the investigations into football’s governing body and calls to strip Russia of the event.
Speaking at the World Football Forum in Moscow on Thursday, Sorokin said Russia had presented a transparent bid and suggested that the corruption investigations and arguments against its World Cup were politically motivated. Asked about a report by the Spanish sports publication AS that Fifa had suggested Qatar take on the 2018 World Cup, Sorokin said it was “ridiculous”, adding that Russia was “very deep in the preparation process”. The organising committee told the Guardian this week that 40% of planned World Cup construction was under way or had already been completed.
“We just need to ponder in whose interest it is to draw up the bridge between us and our partners in Fifa,” Sorokin said. “Strangely this comes when a sizable Fifa delegation is in Samara, where we’re trying to prepare the World Cup together.”
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