FIFA studies England’s demand

England’s complaint that 2018 World Cup bid rival Russia broke competition rules by criticizing London was being studied by FIFA on Wednesday.

By (AP)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 27 Oct 2010, 10:09 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:40 AM

Moscow’s most senior football official branded the move “absolutely primitive.”

FIFA said in a statement that the dispute is “currently pending” and it had contacted both countries’ bid committees.

England’s bid confirmed on Tuesday that it filed an official complaint last week about reported comments by Russian bid leader Alexey Sorokin that London has a high crime rate and youth drinking problem.

England demanded a formal apology as tensions rise approaching the scheduled Dec. 2 vote, which also involves Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal.

Sorokin refused, saying his comments in a Russian newspaper were mistranslated and that he would explain the original statement if required.

Russia remained defiant on Wednesday, as a veteran of FIFA politics dismissed England’s case as destined to fail.

“There is no reason for Russia to fear sanctions. There won’t even be an investigation,” said Vyacheslav Koloskov, who spent 28 years on FIFA’s executive committee in two spells until stepping down in May 2009. He was replaced on the 24-man panel by Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko.

Koloskov, who joined the Russian bid committee in January as an international relations expert, spoke at FIFA headquarters where he helped conduct the draw for the Club World Cup.

“It’s a comical situation. The English are afraid of how badly their bid is going,” Koloskov was quoted as saying by Russian website “Instead of talking about their own advantages and merits, they try to disorient their rivals.”

Koloskov’s comments appeared to push the limits of FIFA’s rule that warns bidders not to attack other candidates.

FIFA has empowered its ethics committee to monitor bidders’ behavior in the two-year lobbying contest. Candidates are also forbidden from offering inducements to the 24 voters on FIFA’s executive committee or making vote-trading deals.

The ethics panel is currently investigating two voters, four former executive members and two bidders for alleged corruption in the 2018 and 2022 contests.

Chaired by lawyer and former Switzerland international player Claudio Sulser, the panel is expected to publish its findings on Nov. 17.

The 2022 World Cup hosting race is between the United States, Australia, Japan South Korea and Qatar.

More news from