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Russia denies bribing FIFA officials to secure 2018 World Cup


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The former CEO of the Russia 2018 organising committee has denied taking bribes to secure hosting duties for the World Cup. 

Alexei Sorokin says the claims are an attempt to denigrate Russia.

The US Justice Department alleges that a number of ex-FIFA officials accepted bribes to vote for Russia and Qatar to host the tournament. 

Namely, disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner is alleged in an indictment to have received $5million to vote for Russia in 2010. 

It's also claimed that former Guatemalan official - Rafael Salguero - was paid $1million to add his vote to the Russian ticket.

But Sorokin has told Russian news agency Tass that his bid is innocent of wrongdoing, "This is not the first attack on us. Honestly, I don’t know how many times we repeated the same idea, but I can repeat it again.

"There are no more original answers to all these insinuations.

"We repeated a thousand times, that they’ve completed all investigations, answered all questions and provided all the banking information of the application committee, all accounts and statements to prove to the world that they were not involved in any deeds."

While Sorokin says his Russia 2018 team have been forthcoming with investigators, a 2014 FIFA ethics report found that computers used in their bid process had been destoyed.

That 2014 report said, "The Russia bid committee made only a limited number of documents available for review, which was explained by the fact that the computers used at the time by the Russia bid committee had been leased and returned to their owner after the bidding process.

"The owner has confirmed the computers were destroyed in the meantime. The bid committee also attempted to obtain access to the Gmail accounts used during the bidding process from Google USA.

"However, the Russia bid committee confirmed Google USA had not responded to the request."

But Sorokin, while speaking to Tass, was playing dumb, "And it’s hard for us to comment on the opinions that someone received something.

"I honestly can hardly remember the names of these people. Today I even spent some time to remember who we are talking about."

Sorokin added, "A former member of the FIFA executive committee admitted that he was offered a bribe - it’s very difficult to do something with such material.

"We look at it philosophically and see it as yet another attempt to denigrate our application, which, as we have repeatedly emphasized, was transparent in all understandable formats.

"We have already answered all the questions of various investigative bodies and the media."


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