Vitaly Mutko, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia said he will step down temporarily as the head of football union of Russia on December 25. Mutko would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the lifetime ban posed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over alleged state-sponsored doping on December 26.
“For the period of the proceedings, I will suspend my work at the Russian Football Union for six months,” said Mutko to Russian news agencies.
Mutko also outlined the possibility of resigning as chief of the World Cup’s organizing committee (LOC).
The IOC banned Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics following the discovery of evidence of “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of doping procedures. Moreover, Russia will host the football world cup in 2018 in 11 cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg, and others.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) outlined that Mutko’s decision “will have no impact on the successful staging of the World Cup next summer, as FIFA, the Russian Government, RFU and the LOC continue their fruitful cooperation on the preparations for the World Cup according to plan.”
Moreover, the football governing body appreciated the decision of Mutko and expressed gratitude for the responsible step and work he had done so far for the World Cup.
Mutko also held a position FIFA’s decision-making Council, previously known as the executive committee, from 2009 to 2017 before be disbarred from contesting for re-elections.
His position as a government minister of Russia made him incompatible by FIFA’s review committee with regulations of FIFA that expect political neutrality from its members.