MOSCOW, July 24. /TASS/. FIFA has approved the eligibility of Alexey Sorokin, the director general of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2018, to run for the world’s governing football body’s Council, the Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) press service told TASS on Monday.
The UEFA Executive Committee announced in March that Russian Football Union (RFU) President Vitaly Mutko would not participate in FIFA Council elections, since he also occupies the post of Russia’s deputy prime minister and it is against FIFA regulations.
Sorokin, the CEO of 2018 World Cup organizing committee, was subsequently nominated to represent Russia in the FIFA Council and had to pass an eligibility test by a FIFA review panel to be approved as a candidate for September elections.
"We would like to inform you that Mr. Alexey Sorokin has passed the eligibility check carried out by FIFA," a statement from the UEFA press service said.
UEFA Executive Committee member Frantisek Laurinec told TASS in March that the European governing body of football would convene for an extraordinary session in Switzerland’s Nyon in September to vote on the candidate for the fourth remaining vacant place in the FIFA Council.
Mutko’s only possible substitution Geir Torsteinsson, the former president of the Football Association of Iceland, withdrew his candidacy shortly before UEFA Executive Board’s session in Helsinki in early April leaving it with candidacies for only three out four European representation places in the FIFA Council.
RFU President Mutko was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee since 2009. In 2016, following the organizational reshuffles in FIFA under new President Gianni Infantino, the Executive Committee was replaced with the FIFA Council.