ZURICH, October 20. /TASS/. Angel Maria Villar, the first deputy of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), took charge of FIFA’s committee on the organization of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, assuming the responsibilities from temporarily suspended UEFA President Michel Platini, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Tuesday.
"He [Villar] will head the bureau of the organization committee," Mutko, who is also a member of FIFA Executive Committee and the president of the Russian Football Union, said in an interview with TASS.
Last month UEFA President Platini and FIFA President Sepp Blatter were suspended for the period of 90 days as part of the investigation into corruption allegations.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Switzerland announced on September 23 that it had opened criminal proceedings against FIFA President Blatter "on suspicion of criminal mismanagement as well as - alternatively - on suspicion of misappropriation."
Among a number of corruption allegations, Blatter is suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million Swiss francs to UEFA President Platini in February 2011, the OAG announced.
"On 25 September 2015, representatives of the OAG interrogated the defendant Joseph Blatter following a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee. At the same time, Michel Platini was heard as a person asked to provide information," the statement said adding that Blatter’s office had been searched and relevant data was seized.
The FIFA Executive Committee held a two-day session on September 24-25 in Switzerland’s Zurich discussing among other important things an agenda for the FIFA’s extraordinary session, which will see the election of the organization’s new president. The session also heard a report from Francois Carrard, the chairman of the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee, which was set up on July 20.
An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA in the 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.
In September 2014, Blatter announced that Platini would be the chief coordinator of Russia’s organization of the 2018 World Cup on behalf of the FIFA international football. Blatter said that Platini would chair Bureau 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which is a coordinating body on the organization of the global football event.