Football

Russian DPM suspends football role to fight Olympic ban

Russia Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, banned for life from the Olympics this month, is temporarily stepping down from his role as head of the country's football union.

Mutko is to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban him from the Games over allegations of state-sponsored doping.

"For the period of the proceedings, I will suspend my work at the Russian Football Union for six months," Mutko was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

The IOC said this month it was banning Russia from next year's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after finding evidence of "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of doping procedures.

Russia is hosting next year's football World Cup in 11 cities, including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi.

Mutko also said he was considering resigning as head of the World Cup's organising committee. World football governing body Fifa has contacted Canadian law professor Richard McLaren about his report about state-organised doping in Russia which named several Russian footballers.

Fifa said that Mutko's decision will not impact the World Cup.

In March, Mutko was barred from sitting on the Fifa Council, where the Russian sports official had a seat since 2009. - WIRE SERVICES

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