Saint Petersburg - Russia fought honestly for the right to host the 2018
Soccer World Cup and the decision should not be called into question, Russian
President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
Swiss judicial authorities are probing the awarding of the 2018 and 2022
World Cups to Russia and Qatar as part of a far-reaching corruption scandal
that has also raised questions about the 2010 event in South Africa.
"We fought in an honest manner (for the tournament) and we won. We do
not think the decision should be questioned," Putin told journalists on
the sidelines of an investment forum in Saint Petersburg.
"We were ready, and that's what convinced FIFA. The stadium
construction has already started," he added.
The head of FIFA's auditing and compliance committee Domenico Scala this
month warned Russia and Qatar could lose the right to host the 2018 and 2022
World Cups if evidence is found of corruption in the bidding process.
Putin said that Russia supported the corruption probe currently unfolding at
world football's governing body, but said it was "up to a court to decide
if someone was guilty".
The president said an inquiry had already been opened into the bidding
process in Russia but no evidence had been found of any corruption.