File photo dated 02-12-2010 of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks at a Russia 2018 press conference at the Zurich Exhibition Centre, Zurich
Saturday Jun 20, 2015. 14:21
As the bribery, money laundering and corruption scandal continues to engulf FIFA, Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out defending his country.
In a report on AFP, Putin said Russia fought honestly for the rights to host the 2018 World Cup and he says the decision should not be called into question.
Although the Swiss judicial authorities have launched a probe into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar as part of a far-reaching corruption scandal that has also raised questions about the 2010 event in South Africa, the president remains confident that everything was done according to the law.
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"We fought in an honest manner (for the tournament) and we won. We do not think the decision should be questioned," said Putin.
"We were ready, and that's what convinced FIFA. The stadium construction has already started."
However, the report reveals that the head of FIFA's auditing and compliance committee Domenico Scala sent a warning this month that Russia and Qatar could lose the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups if evidence is found of corruption in the bidding process.
President Putin said an inquiry is already underway into the bidding process in Russia, however, no evidence had been found of any corruption.
He also added that Russia supported the corruption probe currently unfolding at world football's governing body, but said it was "up to a court to decide if someone was guilty".