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MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Michel Platini, the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), said on Tuesday he knew nothing about the issue of alleged match-fixing in Russian football as it was earlier reported by various media.
In an interview with German daily Bild on Monday, FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger said that the problem of match-fixing in football was similar to the issue of doping in other sports, adding that the problem can be in particularly attributed to Russia.
Addressing a news conference on Tuesday in Moscow, Platini said UEFA closely interacted with national associations and he knew nothing about the alleged problem of match-fixing in Russia.
The UEFA president added that no matter what journalists may assume but the level of football in Russia is very high and the country’s position in the present-day world of football is very strong with Russia being represented in FIFA Executive Committee by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and it is also in the full-swing preparations for the 2018 World Cup.
Last October, the international federation uniting professional footballers, FIFPro, jointly with FIFA and Interpol, launched a global campaign of fighting match-fixing. The campaign was aimed at raising global awareness of the dangers posed by match manipulation as well as to providing education and positive role models for players.
Russia won the bid to host the football competition over four years ago in a tight race against a joint challenge from England, Portugal and Spain and the combined bid by Belgium and The Netherlands.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.