Mutko stepping down as Russia Football Union chief

Mutko stepping down as Russia Football Union chief
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko reacts during a news conference after the Russian Football Union's executive committee meeting in Moscow, Russia December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
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MOSCOW (Reuters) – 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, he said on Monday.

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 year’s soccer 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.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, writing by Denis Pinchuk, editing by Ed Osmond)

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