World Cup 2018 organizing chief resigns

Vitaly Mutko
Vitaly Mutko

The chief organizer of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has stepped down from his role, just two days after he temporarily left his post as Russian Football Union (RFU) president.

Vitaly Mutko – also Russia’s deputy prime minister – was banned from the Olympics for life following damning accusations of running a huge “state-directed” doping programme.

He stood down from his RFU position on Monday after massive pressure that arose from the Olympic ban.

He has denied any allegations of involvement in any doping programme.

Mutko will be replaced by Alexei Sorokin, who is Russia 2018 chief executive and the man who took his place on the FIFA council.

Football’s world governing body Fifa said it had “taken note of the decision” and thanked Mutko for his work so far.

The 2018 World Cup will be the 21st edition of the worldwide tournament, and is scheduled to begin on 14 June, with the hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia.

The finals will be played on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.