Live updates

Putin: We won World Cup bid fairly

Vladimir Putin has insisted that the 2018 football World Cup will go ahead in his country, despite the launch of an investigation into alleged corruption during the bidding process.

Putin doesn't believe the decision to host the World Cup can be changed Credit: Reuters

The Russian president said England's failure to secure the tournament came about because the bid team did not exhibit its country's potential as a host.

Prosecutors in Switzerland are conducting an investigation into allegations of money laundering surrounding Fifa's handling of the 2010 bidding process which led to Russia being named hosts for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.

But Mr Putin said: "If anyone has evidence, let them present it. We won in a fair fight and we are going to host the World Cup. Any other decision we will consider unfair."

"Great Britain did not exhibit all their potential for what it needed to do to win the World Cup.

"We don't think we are guilty of anything. We fought for the bid fairly. We don't think the decision can be changed. Construction of the stadia has begun and the next World Cup is very soon."

No financial aid deal between Russia and Greece

Russia and Greece are not discussing an emergency financial aid package, the Kremlin has said, after President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met today.

Asked whether financial assistance had been discussed when the two leaders met at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "No, no, no."

Advertisement

Obama: Talks will cover Russian aggression in Ukraine

US President Barack Obama has said "standing up to Russia aggression in Ukraine" will be among topics on the agenda at the G7 Summit.

US President Barack Obama arrives for the G7 summit in Germany. Credit: RTV

He also listed the global economy, the future of the European Union, trade partnerships, combating extremism, and climate change as areas that will also be discussed.

Russian Sports Minister: We will host 2018 World Cup

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says there was no risk of Russia losing the 2018 soccer World Cup finals after the United States said it was investigating the bidding process.

Russian Sports Minister: We will host 2018 World Cup Credit: Reuters

"There is no risk to Russia hosting the World Cup," Mutko was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

Rifkind 'not surprised to be banned from Russia'

Sir Malcolm Rifkind told ITV News he is "not particularly surprised" that he is among 89 European Union politicians and other senior figures who have been banned from entering Russia.

The former Foreign Secretary said President Putin has "that sort of little tantrum every so often."

I'm not particularly surprised, Mr Putin tends to go in for that sort of little tantrum every so often and they clearly are feeling that the sanctions are having an effect, they are realising that their economy will continue to be damaged unless they approach the Ukraine issue in a diplomatic way, rather than misuse of their military forces.

– Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Advertisement

Putin sends telegram to congratulate Blatter on Fifa win

Vladimir Putin has sent a telegram to Fifa President Sepp Blatter congratulating him on his re-election, the Kremlin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Sepp Blatter at last year's World Cup. Credit: Reuters

"The head of the Russian state expressed confidence that experience, professionalism and high authority will help Blatter in future encourage the spread in the geography and popularity of football in the whole world," a Kremlin statement said.

Russia was interested in co-operating with Fifa in general and in particular in preparation for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it said.

Over the 17 years that you have stood at the head of FIFA, you have acquired great respect among fans, coaches and players. I am certain that your experience and organisational talent, and your efforts aimed at consistently expanding football’s geography will serve to further develop and increase the popularity of this ‘number one sport’ that unites millions of fans all over the world.

I would like to stress that Russia is ready for further close and constructive cooperation with FIFA, which is especially important ahead of the 2018 World Cup. I am confident that through our joint efforts, we will hold an exceptional championship from an organisational and athletic standpoint.”

– Telegram from Vladimir Putin to Sepp Blatter

Putin accuses US of meddling with Fifa investigation

Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of meddling after senior Fifa officials were arrested on suspicion of corruption following an investigation by the FBI.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Sepp Blatter at last year's World Cup. Credit: Reuters

Russian officials said yesterday that the country's 2018 World Cup bid was fully compliant after Swiss authorities said they were investigating allegations of "criminal mismanagement and money laundering" in connection with the awarding of the tournament.

Attacking the corruption investigation into Fifa, Mr Putin said: "This is yet another blatant attempt (by the United States) to extend its jurisdiction to other states.

He said the arrests were a "clear attempt" to prevent the re-election of Fifa president head Sepp Blatter, who he said had Russia's backing.

Russia wants to use convict labour to build World Cup

Russian president Putin sits with FIFA president Sepp Blatter Credit: REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev

Russia intends to use prisoners to help build stadiums and infrastructure for the 2018 World Cup and bring costs down.

A bill drafted by a member of the ruling party, United Russia, with the backing of the country's prison service, would allow contractors to use convicts in their projects.

"It'll help in the sense that there will be the opportunity to acquire building materials for a lower price, lower than there is currently on the market," Alexander Khinshtein told The Associated Press.

The Russian government is currently under pressure for the event's projected cost of 640bn roubles (£8.2bn).

Under the plans, convicts would continue to live in prison, travelling to work each day. They would earn roughly £190 per month.

Load more updates