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MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. The wave of negative information about the 2018 FIFA World Cup, spread by the foreign media, has been waning, but media attacks may still happen, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Russia-2018 Organizing Committee Chairman Vitaly Mutko said in an interview with TASS.
"We have been ignoring them [media attacks]," he said. "There is a way to respond to them - by doing your work calmly and effectively. Of course, some kind of propaganda will go on but the wave of negative information has started to wan after everybody saw the excellent organization of the FIFA Confederations Cup," Mutko added.
Cristiano Ronaldo came to participate in the tournament and thanked the city of Kazan on his Instagram page, the Russian deputy prime minister pointed out. "So who will people believe - those who spread negative information sitting in their offices, or Ronaldo and the fans who actually attended the tournament?" he said.
In June, the UK’s The Mail on Sunday (The Daily Mail) claimed that the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) was conducting an investigation concerning 34 Russian football players suspected of doping. According to the newspaper, the "footballers are of interest to the anti-doping authorities because of irregularities with some urine samples."
When asked what his attitude to such reports was, Mutko said that "an information campaign against Russia is underway." "Some media say that whatever we do is wrong. But it is not us who is in charge of the anti-doping control process at the World Cup and the European Championship. During the Confederations Cup, our team members underwent dozens of anti-doping tests," he pointed out.
"Doping control officers came to Novogorsk where our team was training. The Russian Premier League resumed its anti-doping activities since the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has been granted the right to collect samples. We are fully open," the Russian Football Union president stressed.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.