Sports minister Mutko takes over Russian football

Moscow —

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has taken control of the country’s football association ahead of the 2018 World Cup, pledging state funding for the sport.

The arrival of Mutko, who also oversees Russia’s World Cup preparations, comes as Swiss prosecutors investigate alleged corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 tournament. Mutko has been a member of FIFA’s executive committee since 2009 and played a leading role in Russia’s victorious bid.

He took over from Nikolai Tolstykh, who was removed as president of the Russian Football Federation in May following a dispute over the organization’s debts.

After being elected unopposed on Wednesday, Mutko spoke of state support for football in comments reported by the R-Sport agency, saying the government intended to spend 7 billion rubles ($100 million) on developing the sport. Planned.

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