Russia FA chief Mutko expected to carry out World Cup role, despite IOC ban
Major news transpired on Tuesday as Russia was barred from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics, which are set to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Russia -- which will play host to next summer’s World Cup -- was determined to have direct ties to “state-sponsored doping,” according to a decision by the International Olympic Committee.
At the center of the controversy is Vitaly Mutko, who currently serves as Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, as well as his role as the head of the Russian Football Federation and leader in Russia’s World Cup hosting committee.
In the IOC’s decision, Mutko has been banned for life from all Olympics activity, however, he is expected to continue his role with his native country as Russia prepares to play host to the World Cup in 2018.
BREAKING: IOC bans Russian deputy PM Mutko for life from Olympic Games BUT Mutko remains head of 2018 World Cup— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) December 5, 2017
On Friday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino spoke about about allegations against the Russians over the country’s ties to doping, but didn’t seem too concerned about the issue.
“As far as I’m concerned and as far as Fifa is concerned, the answer is simple: (the IOC decision) will have no impact,” Infantino said.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is expected to address the sanctions from the IOC on Wednesday at the All-Russian Forum of Volunteers.
It is uncertain whether FIFA will intervene in the situation following the IOC’s decision.
Russia was drawn in Group A for the World Cup during last week’s festivities, and will be paired with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay during the group stage.