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Fifa’s desperate dependence on Russia exposed in flimsy response to IOC ban | David Conn

The governing body’s willingness to let Vitaly Mutko, a man banned from the Olympics over state-sponsored doping, run next year’s World Cup shows how ethically compromised it remains

How awkward it has been for Fifa and its president, Gianni Infantino, ruthlessly plotting a course towards next year’s World Cup in Russia, that the International Olympic Committee banned the country from the Winter Olympics – and the senior minister Vitaly Mutko from the Olympics altogether – for state?sponsored doping.

The IOC’s decision should mean Fifa has no hiding place from a clear ethical stance on Russia’s appalling violations but it has only shone an unforgiving light on Fifa’s dependence on Russia. Infantino is spending plenty of quality time with Mutko, who is the president of the Russian football association and World Cup organising committee, and they were shoulder to shoulder during the draw last week for a tournament Infantino considers immovable and essential to bring in the dollars.

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