Russia’s deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko (L), who also serves as the president of the Russian Football Union, and UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin attend the launch of the Saint Petersburg’s logo for the Euro 2020 football tournament in Saint Petersburg on January 19, 2017. The EURO 2020 UEFA European Championship will see matches hosted in 13 cities across Europe, with the semi-finals and final staged at Wembley Stadium in London in July 2020.
Olga MALTSEVA / AFP
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Vitaly Mutko, has revealed the draw for the 2018 World Cup is set to take place in the Kremlin on December 1.
The date was already known but the confirmation of the venue – the official residence of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in the heart of Moscow – underlines the significance of the World Cup to the Russian government.
According to Russia’s main news agency, TASS, Mutko announced the news during a meeting with Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.
The 58-year-old Mutko stepped down as sports minister in October, but he was the chairman of Russia’s successful World Cup bid and is still the president of the Russian Football Union. He is also a former president of Russia’s richest football team, Zenit Saint Petersburg.
“This proposal suited FIFA and we are already in preparations for the draw,” he said.
These comments come a day after the Mail on Sunday reported that FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, last year asked Mutko, a member of the FIFA Council, to quit football because of his alleged involvement in Russia’s state-sponsored doping programme.
Mutko, however, has always denied any wrongdoing, blaming others further down the chain of command, and told TASS the British newspaper report was “silly” and remains on good terms with Infantino.