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UEFA president backs Russia to be good host for Euro 2020

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By Reuters
UEFA president backs Russia to be good host for Euro 2020
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and other officials in Saint Petersburg, Russia November 27, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS   -   Copyright  SPUTNIK(Reuters)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will do a good job hosting European Championship soccer matches next year, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said on Wednesday, days after a WADA committee recommended the country be banned from hosting major events.

Ceferin was speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit to the country and praised the way Russia organised last year’s World Cup.

“The World Cup was organised perfectly,” Ceferin told Putin, referring to the month-long tournament.

“It was organised perfectly and I’m sure you are capable of organising top events.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s Compliance Review Committee said on Monday that Russia should not be allowed to host or bid for any major sporting event.

The WADA recommendations are part of a sanctions package to punish Moscow for having provided the agency with doctored laboratory data.

WADA’s executive committee will rule on the recommendations, which also include a four-year ban from the Olympics, on Dec. 9 in Paris.

WADA officials have said Russia’s hosting of four Euro 2020 matches, including a quarter-final, as well as the Champions League final in 2021, would not be affected by the recommendations.

The recommendations include having the signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code withdraw Russia’s right to host their events for a four-year period and re-assign them to another country “unless it is legally or practically impossible to do so.”

UEFA, European soccer’s governing soccer, is not a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code. But the organisation is a continental confederation under FIFA, the global soccer body, which has signed the code.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Toby Davis)