Sunday 18 February 2018

Russian leader held 'secret talks' with FIFA

Shaun Walker in Moscow

RUSSIA'S Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held secret meetings with at least a third of the 22 members of FIFA's Executive Committee, who last week handed Russia the right to host the 2018 World Cup, a member of the bid team has revealed.

"Putin didn't just give his support to the bid, like the leaders of the other countries that were competing. During the campaign, he met with a third of the members of FIFA's Executive Committee," said Vyacheslav Koloskov, a member of the Russian bid team.

"We kept this a secret, and it's only now that we can reveal it. Basically, Putin's support was not just declarative, he was doing things every day."

The admission is all the more extraordinary given that the day before the vote, Mr Putin released an angry statement saying that other bid teams were putting improper pressure on FIFA officials. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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