Russian sports minister: 'Nothing to hide' in FIFA investigation
Russian Sports Minister Vitalty Mutko says his country has 'nothing to hide' amid a Swiss investigation into FIFA's awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.
''We're prepared to show everything,'' Mutko told the Associated Press in a telephone interview, offering full cooperation with Swiss investigators ''We've always acted within the law. We've got nothing to hide.''
The Swiss criminal proceedings come as the United States issued indictments to 14 FIFA officials and associates on 47 counts related to racketeering, money laundering and fraud in a international soccer corruption scandal spanning the past 24 years. Swiss authorities arrested seven officials in Zurich on Wednesday for extradition to the U.S.
Swiss authorities are investigating the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. A FIFA investigation of the bids cleared Russia and Qatar of serious wrongdoing, but Michael Garcia—who led the investigation—rejected FIFA's summary of the report, saying it misconstrued his report.
Mutko said the investigation would not affect Russia's preparations to host the cup.
''How can it be obstructed?" Mutko said. "We have a contract with FIFA and we're getting ready to hold the draw. We operated within the regulations that existed at that time.''
- Jeremy Woo