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Kremlin: Russia to host 2018 FIFA World Cup despite ex-WADA chief's appeals

July 22, 17:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Richard Pound, made a statement earlier in the week calling on FIFA to strip Russia of its right to host the global quadrennial football championship
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© Sergei Konkov/TASS

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday there was no need at all making comments on the call of the ex-world’s anti-doping chief to strip Russia of its right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Richard Pound, made a statement earlier in the week calling on FIFA to strip Russia of its right to host the global quadrennial football championship.

"There is no need at all making any commentaries on the statement of the former WADA chief," Peskov told journalists.

Asked whether Russia was likely to yield the right of hosting the World Cup, Peskov denied it by saying: "I am not making any allegations because I have information and official statements at my disposal."

WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, released a report on Monday on the results of its probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The commission claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service (FSB) supported the doping program in Russian sports.

Following the report WADA recommended the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations to ban Russian athletes from all international sports competitions, including Rio 2016.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board held a telephone conference on Tuesday regarding the WADA Independent Commission on the alleged widespread doping abuse and manipulations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Following the conference the IOC Executive Committee announced a number of provisional measures and recommendations.

Among the announced measures was the decision that "the IOC will not organize or give patronage to any sports event or meeting in Russia. This includes plans for the European Games 2019 organized by the European Olympic Committees (EOC)."

Commenting on the IOC decisions and recommendations FIFA said in its statement to TASS that it is important to clarify that in its statement, the IOC was addressing all International Olympic Winter Sports Federations and is referencing winter sport competitions.

"FIFA is currently in full preparation for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and is convinced they will be successful events for fans and participating teams," the world’s governing body of football stated.

Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2017 FIFA World Cup after the country won the bid to host the world’s major football event at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bid from England, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of 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.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held next year between June 17 and July 1 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.

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