TBILISI, August 11. /TASS/. The recent FIFA corruption scandal will not affect the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Michel Platini, the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), has told a TASS correspondent.
Platini, who is a candidate for FIFA president, said the decision on holding the World Cup had been taken and was recently again confirmed by the executive committee.
He highly praised the World Cup 2018 Preliminary Draw ceremony that was held in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, on July 25, saying this was an excellent rehearsal of the championship.
An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA on morning of May 27, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, as seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.
Shortly after FIFA President Joseph Blatter announced his plans to resign. Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote. However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress.