Football: Mutko steps down as 2018 World Cup organising committee chief, files CAS claim to get Olympic ban lifted

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Dec 27, 2017 that he is stepping down as chairman of the 2018 World Cup organising committee.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Dec 27, 2017 that he is stepping down as chairman of the 2018 World Cup organising committee.PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was banned for life from the Olympic Games this month over the team's doping, said on Wednesday (Dec 27) that he is stepping down as chairman of the 2018 World Cup organising committee.

"(Organising committee director Alexei) Sorokin will be the chairman," he was quoted by Russian agencies as saying, two days after suspending his role as president of the Russian Football Union.

"He will interact with Fifa. I will concentrate on work in the government," he said.

Mr Mutko on Monday announced that he plans to file a claim in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to contest his Olympic ban, and would suspend his duties in the RFU for the duration of the proceedings.

He added at the time that he would continue his role as chief coordinator of preparations for the World Cup his country will host next summer, until the Russian leadership decides otherwise.

On Wednesday, he said his claim has been filed in the CAS.

He was banned for life from the Olympic Games on Dec 5 after the International Olympic Committee said he was involved in a state-backed doping programme.

The 59-year-old had until this week retained his posts in Russia throughout the doping scandal, even receiving a promotion from sports minister. He maintains that Russian athletes were clean at the 2014 Winter Olympics.