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Putin: Russia won World Cup rights fairly

Russian president Vladimir Putin has insisted that the 2018 World Cup will go ahead in his country, despite the launch of an investigation into alleged corruption during the bidding process.

And Putin said England's failure to secure the tournament came about because the bid team did not exhibit its country's potential as a host.

England was eliminated in the first round in 2010, securing only two out of a possible 22 votes from FIFA's executive committee. David Beckham, who was part of the bid team, later said the process "felt unfair", as England had been promised votes which eventually went to other contenders.

Prosecutors in Switzerland are conducting an investigation into allegations surrounding FIFA's handling of the 2010 bidding process, which led to Russia being named hosts for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.

Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber announced last week that banks in the country reported 53 possible acts of money laundering in what he described as a "huge and complex case" targeting "criminal mismanagement and money-laundering" in the bidding contest.

But Putin (right) said: "If anyone has evidence, let them present it.

"We won in a fair fight and we are going to host the World Cup. Any other decision we will consider unfair."