Former FIFA official: Infantino opposed blocking Mutko

Published 5:16 a.m. ET Sept. 13, 2017 | Updated 6:57 a.m. ET Sept. 13, 2017

LONDON (AP) — A fired FIFA official testified Wednesday that he banned Vitaly Mutko from soccer’s ruling council after resisting strong pressure from the FIFA leadership, which warned the World Cup in Russia would be a “disaster” and Gianni Infantino’s presidency could be jeopardized.

Miguel Maduro provided an account to British legislators of the pressures he endured from the FIFA hierarchy during less than a year chairing the governance committee before being abruptly removed from his post in May.

The biggest call of Maduro’s tenure was to prevent Mutko, a Russian deputy prime minister who is also head of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee, from seeking re-election to the FIFA Council on grounds of political interference.

“With the exception of that case in general, the president did not try to influence our decisions,” Maduro told the sports committee at the House of Commons. “He would transit to me sometimes those decisions were not well accepted but in that case there was an attempt to influence that decision.”

It came in March just as Russia was preparing to host a World Cup…

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