Russia: Our bid was clean

The head of Russia's 2018 World Cup bid team has told Sky Sports News that they acted well within FIFA's rules during the bidding process for the tournament.

Last Updated: 08/06/14 at 21:33 Post Comment

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For the second week running, The Sunday Times published allegations of wrongdoing during the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

They allege former FIFA vice-president Mohamed Bin Hammam broke bid rules as he lobbied on behalf of his country's bid.

Qatar have denied allegations of any wrongdoing but FIFA have launched an internal investigation into the voting process for both tournaments.

The newspaper also claims Mr Bin Hammam met Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, weeks before the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December 2010, to discuss "bilateral sporting relations."

Alexey Sorokin, leader of Russia's successful 2018 World Cup bid, insists his country have acted with integrity throughout the process.

"Absolutely - we had a particular emphasis on making it transparent, and making it clean and open," Sorokin told Sky Sports News when asked if Russia's bid was clean.

"I don't have any concerns," he added when probed about whether he was concerned about a re-vote to host both tournaments. "But that's FIFA's decision. The World Cup belongs to FIFA and it's their decision. They will be the best source to comment on that."

Sorokin was also non-committal about whether he would welcome a re-vote.

"That doesn't depend on my opinion," he said. "It depends on the opinion of the ExCo members or Congress. My opinion does not matter."

Speaking from Sao Paolo, Sky Sports News' chief reporter Bryan Swanson said FIFA were not commenting on the new allegations that emerged on Sunday despite the concerns of some of the major World Cup sponsors.

"Further questions have been raised here in Sao Paolo about FIFA officials past and present and the influence around the voting process," Swanson said.

"Sepp Blatter has been holding further meeting here inside FIFA's five star hotel. He declined to comment a short time ago about continued questions concerning Qatar's bid but of concern to FIFA will be some of their biggest sponsors.

"They are wanting answers. They've talked about the negative public debate that has been generated.

"Nothing formal from FIFA yet. Qatar once again strenuously deny any wrongdoing but for football's governing body the show goes on.

"FIFA's focus here is very much on the start of the World Cup on Thursday when Brazil kick-off here in Sao Paolo against Croatia."

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