England 2018 World Cup bid team to withdraw FIFA complaint against RussiaBy ANI
Friday, October 29, 2010
LONDON - England’s 2018 World Cup bid team has decided to withdraw a formal complaint to FIFA against the Russian campaign’s chief.
It comes after Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko apologized for ‘derogatory comments’ made by Alexei Sorokin, the Chief Executive of the Russian bid, about London’s crime rate and alcohol problems.
England had alleged that Sorokin’s comments contravened FIFA’s rules, which dictate that bidders must not make comments about their rivals “whether adverse or otherwise”.
“Mutko approached the bid team with a genuine apology in an honourable manner,” the BBC quoted an England spokesman, as saying.
“We, of course, accepted this apology and appreciate the gesture. We now wish to move on from this matter,” he added.
Tension between the two bids intensified after Russian Football Union president Viacheslav Koloskov described England 2018 World Cup bid as “absolutely primitive” for lodging the complaint.
He claimed that England only made their move because they were behind Russia and were “afraid of how badly their bid is going”.
However, Sorokin admits that he is happy to see a line drawn on the issue.
“I’m glad this whole thing is finally over to our mutual satisfaction and we can now proceed with our normal work,” Sorokin said.
England and Russia, along with Belgium/Holland and Spain/Portugal, are bidding to host the 2018 World Cup.
FIFA will announce the winner on December 2. (ANI)