MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The eight-year suspension and FIFA and UEFA presidents Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini will not affect preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Friday.
"I think this will not affect us and preparations for the World Cup," Mutko said at a TASS news conference. "I see no problems here. We make regular reports on preparations and get approval. There are no reasons to strip us of the World Cup."
On Monday, the previously suspended FIFA and UEFA presidents, Sepp Blatter and Platini respectively, were both banned for eight years by FIFA's Ethics Committee from all international football activities over allegedly illegal financial transfer from FIFA to Platini.
The Ethics Committee also subjected both of the football executives to financial fines, obliging Blatter to pay 50,000 Swiss francs (over $50,300) and Platini - 80,000 Swiss francs (over $80,500).
In early October, Blatter and Platini were suspended from their posts as part of the investigation into corruption allegations against them. 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 minister also said the Ethics Committee is to announce the reasons for the eight-year bans for the FIFA and UEFA president during the extraordinary congress of the world’s governing body of football on February 26.
"I deeply regret the situation around Blatter and Platini," Mutko said at the news conference.
"At the FIFA Congress on February 26, the [Ethics] Committee will report to the members of the organization and explain the reasons for such harsh sanctions," Mutko said. "It deeply upsets that such faith fell upon Blatter, who worked in FIFA for 40 years."