Russian deputy PM quits football role before 2018 World Cup to fight doping ban

Vitaly Mutko also considering resigning as local World Cup organiser as he appeals against Olympic life ban

Vitaly Mutko, the Russian deputy prime minister who was banned for life from the Olympics this month, has said he is temporarily stepping down from his role as head of the countrys football union.

Mutko is to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday 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 the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympics after finding evidence of unprecedented systematic manipulation of doping procedures.

Russia is hosting next years football World Cup in 11 cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi. Mutko also said he was considering resigning as head of the World Cups local organising committee (LOC).

Fifa said in a statement it understands Mr Mutkos decision which was also taken in the best interest of the World Cup next summer. The global sports body added: FIFA thanks Mr Mutko for this responsible step and for the work carried out so far for the World Cup.

It said Mutkos decision will have no impact on the successful staging of the World Cup next summer, as Fifa, the Russian government, RFU [Russian Football Union] and the LOC continue their fruitful cooperation on the preparations for the World Cup according to plan.

Mutko sat on Fifas decision-making council, previously known as the executive committee, from 2009 until earlier this year when he was barred from standing for re-election.

Mutkos position as a government minister was ruled by Fifas review committee to be incompatible with Fifa statutes demanding political neutrality from its members.

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